Aaron Spelling was an American film and television producer. As of 2009, Spelling’s company holds the record as the most prolific television writer, with 218 producer and executive producer credits. Forbes ranked him the 11th top-earning dead celebrity in 2009.
Spelling was born in Dallas, Texas, to Pearl and David Spelling, a tailor, who were Jewish immigrants from Russia and Poland, respectively. Spelling also has a brother named Daniel Spelling who lived in San Francisco, who appeared on daughter Tori Spelling’s television show Tori And Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. Daniel Spelling died in 2009. At the age of eight, Spelling lost the use of his legs psychosomatically due to trauma caused by constant bullying from his schoolmates, and was confined to bed for a year. During this time he read a vast number of books, which stimulated his imagination.
Spelling attended Forest Avenue High School. He served in the U.S. Air Force and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. He then attended Southern Methodist University, graduating in 1949, where he was a cheerleader. He married actress Carolyn Jones in 1953, and they moved to California. They divorced in 1964. With his second wife, Candy Gene, whom he married in 1968, he had two children, Randy Spelling and Tori Spelling.
Spelling sold his first script to Jane Wyman Theater in 1954. He went on to write for Dick Powell, Playhouse 90, and Last Man, among others. Later, he also found work as an actor. Between 1956 and 1997 he played screen parts in twenty-two programs, including the first Brian Keith series, Crusader, a Cold War drama, as well as I Love Lucy and Gunsmoke. During the 1950s, Spelling joined Powell’s Four Star Productions, through which he created Lloyd Bridges’s anthology series, The Lloyd Bridges Show.