According to a family spokeswoman, John Langley, the author of the long-time television series “Policeman,” died during a road race in Mexico.
Langley died in Baja, Mexico, during a coast-to-coast Ensenada-San Felipe 250 off-road race on Saturday, apparently suffering a heart attack, according to family spokeswoman Pam Golam. He was 78 years old.
“Cops” was one of the first reality series to debut in 1989 and became an institution throughout the 32 seasons. Langley and production partner Malcolm Barbour bought the idea for years and found a home for it on the new Fox network.
The show was famous for chasing police who had spent a long and boring night chasing police cars and enthusiastic feet, from lawmakers in Deep South to police officers in metropolitan police stations.
Its habits, often including shirtless suspects and the reggae theme song “Bad Boys,” were a frequent feed for stand-up comedies and were frequently referred to in movies, television shows, and songs.
It ran on Fox until 2013, and Viacom’s Spike TV was later rebranded as The Paramount Network.
It was criticized for what was considered a sloping, police-supporting view, and was permanently lifted from the sky by Paramount last year during a global protest over the killing of George Floyd.
Some versions of the show are still syndicated and internationally broadcast.
Langley was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Los Angeles. He graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills and served in the United States Army in the early 1960s.
Langley was also the producer of the 2009 film “Brooklyn’s Finest,” the non-fiction series “Jail,” “Las Vegas Strip,” and “Criminal Anatomy,” directed by Antoine Hook and starring Richard Gere and Don Cheadle.
He is an off-road racing enthusiast and frequently attends events like those he attended on Saturday.
Langley is a son and has survived by Morgan, a producing partner who oversees the company’s Langley productions. Another son, Zack. Two daughters, Sarah Langley Deuce and Jennifer Blair. His wife, Maggie, and seven grandchildren.
“Policeman” creator John Langley dies during road race in Mexico – NBC10 Philadelphia
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