Aaron Spelling: Early Life, Carrer, and Personal Life

Aaron Spelling

Aaron Spelling born on April 22, 1923, was an American film and television producer and occasional actor. He produced the TV series The Love Boat (1977–1986), Charlie’s Angels (1976–1981), Hart to Hart (1979–1984), Family (1976–1980),  Melrose Place (1992–1999), and a lot more.  

Aaron Spelling holds the record as the most historic television producer in US television history, with 218 producer and executive producer credits. Forbes ranked him the 11th top-earning deceased.

  Early life

Aaron Spelling was born in Dallas, Texas to  Pearl (née Wald) and David Spelling, Russian Jewish immigrants. Spelling’s father was a and changed his surname from Spurling to Spelling after emigrating to the United States. He was the youngest child out of five siblings.

Aaron Spelling lost the use of his leg psychosomatically due to trauma caused by constant anti-semitic bullying from his schoolmates and was confined to bed for a year. He made a full recovery.

Spelling attended  Forest Avenue High School in Dallas after then he served in the United States Army Air Corps as a pilot during World War II. Spelling also graduated from Southern Methodist University. Spelling graduated from Southern Methodist University, where he was a cheerleader in 1949.


Spelling first appeared as an actor in a film directed by Harry Horner as Harry Williams in Vicki, in 1953. In the same year, he appeared in the TV series I Led Three Lives and Dragnet (six episodes, 1953–55). Spelling also appeared in episode 112 of I Love Lucy (“Tennessee Bound,” season 4, 1955) and a lot more others.

In 1954, Spelling sold his first script to Jane Wyman Presents He starred as a quest in CBS’s situation comedy, Willy,  as a dogcatcher, starring June Havoc as a young lawyer in New Hampshire, who later relocates to New York City to represent a vaudeville troupe. 

 Aaron Spelling gained experience as a producer and additional credits as a scriptwriter working on the Four Star television series Zane Grey Theater, which aired between 1956 and 1961.

He wrote 20 of the teleplays out of the 149 episodes in the series and produced many others. Spelling produced Burke’s Law while at Four Star. The show was the first success for Spelling and the beginning of the multiple guest star form, later seen on The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.

Aaron Spelling and Comedian Danny Thomas formed Thomas-Spelling Productions on April 15, 1966, as a partnership with 24 properties. Thomas continued his existing partnership, T&L Productions, with Sheldon Leonard.

The company adapted its name by July 18, 1966, when it got involved financially with ABC with its first show, Range (later Rango), a half-hour comedy western starring Tim Conway, and its rented space on Desilu Productions’ Gower lot. There was another show  ABC picked up for a pilot, just in an outline treatment, in The Guns of WillSonnett.

Thomas-Spelling Productions’ ended their active productions with the last season of The Mod Squad in 1972. There was a new partnership Spelling formed with Leonard Goldberg, Spelling-Goldberg Productions.

Spelling began producing successful television shows including The Mod Squad, The Rookies, Family, Charlie’s Angels, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Dynasty, Beverly Hills, 90210 (which starred his daughter Tori), Melrose Place, 7th Heaven, Charmed, Jane’s House and Sunset Beach in  1965.

Spelling founded his own entertainment production Spelling Entertainment in 1965, alongside partnerships with comedian/actor Danny Thomas and television/film producer Leonard Goldberg(Spelling-Goldberg Productions, 1972–1986).

Spelling was in two television movies: Dan Castellaneta portrayed Spelling in Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Charlie’s Angels and Nicholas Hammond portrayed Spelling in the television movie Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure in 2004.

Personal life

Aaron Spelling married actress Carolyn Jones in 1953, in California. 

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