David Bellisario who has been a Producer on Quantum Leap, JAG, NCIS, and NCIS LA has died.
David’s death was though not made public following a Memorial tribute shared through Legacy.com revealed that he died recently after a long battle with a brain tumour.
1957 – 2020 “Did I ever tell you about that?”You probably would have heard David Bellisario ask you at some point over dinner, while looking at motorcycles, or between takes on a film set. David was a loving husband and father, an explorer, and an avid storyteller.
He was born on July 18, 1957 at a six-bed medical center in Mojave, California serving the Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Station there, and spent his childhood in Pennsylvania and Texas.
Once finished with Cub Scouts, dinosaurs, fairy tales, and pirate adventure stories he developed into an avid reader, and reveled in science fiction/fantasy literature and history. Eventually, he came to love motorcycles, too.
During David’s early twenties, not sure what path to take in life, he decided to pack all he could onto a motorcycle and leave Dallas to begin a tour of the United States. This experience would bring him boundless adventures, Including couch surfing with a motley crew while they rebuilt a cabin at a commune outside Seattle, explaining why he had a broadsword on the handlebars of his 400cc bike to an ill-humoured sheriff in Montana, and participating in a medievalist (Society for Creative Anachronism) war in the Appalachians. His stories about this time are legendary! Not long after that road trip, David moved to Los Angeles where his father was getting into the television industry.
It was then that he decided to take a job that would send him into his lifelong film career. David understood that working for his father meant working twice as hard; he was committed to proving to himself and others that he was deserving of the position.
Starting as a Production Assistant, he knuckled down and quickly rose to Associate Producer on Magnum P.I. Through 4 studios and 7 series – more than 600 episodes in all – he steadily gained more responsibility and became a full Producer on Quantum Leap, JAG, NCIS, and NCIS LA.
Loved and respected by his peers for his creative mind, killer work ethic, humor, and humility, he counted himself lucky indeed to have worked almost 40 years with such a group of talented and creative people.
It was during this time that David went to an industry party and fell madly in love with a smart and lively redhead from New York named Alberta Benson. Alberta was smitten, too.
They were married in January of 1985 and had two happy, healthy boys, Anthony and Peter.
In 1990 David and his family moved from Hollywood to Northridge. They were well settled in, very near what turned out to be the epicentre, when the 1994 Northridge earthquake struck.
After making sure his family was safe, David spent the rest of that fateful day with a toolbox in hand, helping his neighbour’s secure their homes. He possessed a prodigious variety of skills, and was ever ready to help others – with his deft hands, friendly smile, great stories, and (occasionally) pizzelle, he was a welcome sight indeed. Though he was dedicated to his work and his family, David took every opportunity to travel and see the world.
He was always curious about other places and cultures, so whenever the time allowed he could be found exploring some interesting city or ruin, always learning and bringing back more stories to share. And he took as much of his family on these trips as he could.
If he wasn’t out and about, David was usually working on his bikes, building pergolas, tending his garden, hiking nearby trails, or just spending time at home with his loving wife and sons.
In March of 2019, David was diagnosed with brain cancer. Despite his valiant struggle against the disease and having two brain surgeries he passed away on July 24, 2020, at the age of 63, in the comfort of his home and surrounded by loved ones.
Smart, playful, loving, and kind, he made the world a better place in all his endeavours, just by being the man he was, every day of his life. David is survived by his wife, Alberta; his sons Anthony and Peter; his parents Donald Bellisario (Vivienne) and Margaret Bellisario; his sisters Joy Jenkins (Keeter), Leslie Ingham (Jim), Julie Watson (Alex), and Troian Bellisario (Patrick Adams; his brothers Michael and Nicolas; step-brothers Sean and Chad Murray; his uncle Lee Bellisario (Afarin); and quite a few nephews, nieces, and cousins. COVID-19 prevents our gathering for a funeral at this time; a memorial service will be held at an as-yet-undecided future date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to your favorite charity.
To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Headline cards are one of the best ways to honour someone who has been so important to the show’s cast.
They will continue to live in the years following the start of the season, և will allow viewers to learn about them, which may lead them to search for more information on their own. They are often the last thing the viewer will see or remember coming out of an episode that gives them a moment to think about the lost life.
In addition to the NCIS patent, some of David Belisario’s credits include JAG (which preceded NCIS and placed in the same space), Quantum Leap and Magnum PI original with Tom Selleck.
Our thoughts are with David Belisario’s family and friends at a difficult time.