Hollywood producer behind iconic reality show Cops dies after ‘heart attack’

John Langley, the man behind the iconic reality TV show Cops, has died.

It's said the producer died after suffering a heart attack in Mexico, according to reports.

The 78-year-old was in the area competing in an off-road race, called Coast to Coast Ensenada-San Felipe 250, when he fell ill, reports Variety.

John was a fan of racing and created a Cops off-road desert racing team.

Cops premiered on Fox in 1989 and ran for 25 seasons, before moving over to Spike for a few years.

The show ran for another three seasons on Paramount Network and was cancelled last year following the death of George Floyd.

At the time, a network spokesperson said: "Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don't have any current or future plans for it to return."

He also directed video shorts and documentaries, including American Expose: Who Murdered JFK? in 1988.

John, from Oklahoma, also worked on other documentary shows including Vegas Strip and Jail.

TMZ reports that his son Zak was with him at the time of his death.

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Born in 1943, the star began his career in the early 1960s, and served in the intelligence unit of the US Army before graduating from Cal State Dominguez Hills.

His reality TV career began with his 1986 special American Vice: The Doping of a Nation.

The show showed a live drug arrest on primetime television, and it would be several years later before Cops would air.

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During its time, the series was nominated for Emmy awards in the outstanding informational series category four times.

The icon also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2011 to recognise his contributions to the entertainment industry.

In 2009, he told TV Academy: "I'm a kid of the '60s. I'm sort of anti-authoritarian by nature. If you told me I was going to do a show about cops, I would have said, 'What am I going to call it, Pigs?'"

John is survived by his wife Maggie, daughters Sarah and Jennifer, sons Morgan and Zak, and seven grandchildren.

  • Hollywood

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