Richard Levinson (August 7, 1934 March 12, 1987) and William Theodore Link (born December 15, 1933) were a prolific writing team best known for creating Mannix, Columbo and Murder, She Wrote. They formed their working partnership while still in high school, and spent their early career writing episodes for well-known shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, Dr. Kildare and The Fugitive. They created or co-created a number of other television series, including Mannix, Ellery Queen (based on the Ellery Queen stories), Stone (in collaboration with Stephen J. Cannell) and Blacke's Magic (about a crime-solving magician).
In addition, they wrote scripts for two theatrical films and numerous made-for-television movies. Some dealt with crime, but others dealt with social issues and historical events, such as The Execution of Private Slovik (about the only U.S. soldier executed for desertion in World War II), and Crisis at Central High (set in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1958). In addition, they wrote That Certain Summer, a 1972 TV movie that marked the first time homosexuality was depicted in a sympathetic manner on a major network. They won many awards, including two Emmys, two Golden Globe Awards, two Edgar Allan Poe Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, the Writers Guild of America Award, and the Peabody Award.