Ray Galton, writer of classic British sitcoms, dies at 88
LONDON — Screenwriter Ray Galton, who co-wrote the landmark British comedy series "Hancock's Half Hour" and "Steptoe and Son," has died at 88.
Galton's family said Saturday that he died Friday evening after a "long and heart-breaking battle with dementia."
The London-born Galton was diagnosed with life-threatening tuberculosis as a teenager. In a sanatorium, he met another sick teen, Alan Simpson, and the pair became long-term writing partners.
Manager Tessa Le Bars called them "the fathers and creators of British sitcom."
Galton and Simpson wrote "Hancock's Half Hour" for popular post-war comedian Tony Hancock. Their biggest hit was "Steptoe and Son," a sitcom about father-and-son junk dealers, which ran between 1962 and 1974. Producer Norman Lear adapted it into the U.S. sitcom "Sanford and Son."
Simpson died last year at 87.
The Associated Press