British screenwriter Brian Clemens died over the weekend at age 83 according to his family. In a career described by the BFI as “almost the history of the action-adventure genre of British Television,” Clemens wrote the pilot episode of The Avengers (1961 – 1969) and would continue to be the main scriptwriter (as well as script editor and associate editor) during the iconic series’ run, penning 32 episodes. He’s also credited with bringing Diana Rigg to the series.
Born in Croydon, Surrey in 1931, Clemens followed up a stint in the British Army with a messenger gig at an advertising agency. After working his way up to copywriter, he had a screenplay purchased by the BBC which led to a job as staff writer for B-movie producers The Danzigers beginning in the mid-1950s. By the early 60s, he was writing for such TV shows as Man From Interpol (1960), Danger Man (1960 – 1961) and The Cheaters (1961 – 1962).
Clemens other TV successes included The Professionals (1977 – 1983) and Bugs (1995 – 1999). For the big screen, Clemens wrote 1971’s Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde, wrote and directed cult favorite Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter in 1974, and several others.