Gary David Goldberg died June 23 after a long battle with brain cancer. Now the world is short a talented television writer, and also a mensch.
I met Goldberg in the fall of 1996, at a rehearsal for his new TV show, “Spin City.” I was a reporter and he was a legend. The deal with the ABC PR person was that I could watch the rehearsal from the studio seats, and I might be able to meet Goldberg — briefly — if there was a break. The interview was scheduled to take place on the phone the following day.
There was a break in the rehearsal, and a nervous publicist took me to meet him. She clearly wanted to get me away and back into my seat as quickly as possible. But Goldberg had a different idea. We chatted for 10 or 15 minutes. He took me over to meet the show’s star, Michael J. Fox, who, as I recall, was having a cigarette under a No Smoking sign.
Fox joined the conversation, spending most of that time praising his boss. In fact, he said, he wouldn’t have returned to the grind of series television for anyone else.
When they had to get back to work, Goldberg said “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
See me? We were supposed to do a telephone interview. They told me in-person was impossible.
They’re just being overprotective, Goldberg said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”