28 March 2008 12:09 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Oscar-winning screenwriter and Kojak creator Abby Mann has died. He was 80.

Mann died of heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills, California, on Tuesday.

The Philadelphia-born writer started his career working on TV shows, but shot to fame in 1961 when he scooped an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Judgement at Nurenberg - which starred Spencer Tracy and Burt Lancaster.

In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Mann went on to score multiple Emmy Awards including one for The Marcus-Nelson Murders in 1973 - the film created the character of Theo Kojak and its TV spin off became one of the most successful cop shows of the 1970s. He was also one of the main writers on the 2005 Kojak remake, which saw actor Ving Rhames take over the leading role which was made famous by Telly Savalas.

Mann is survived by his wife, Myra, and a son.

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