Blinn passed away due to natural causes at an assisted living facility in Burbank, his daughter, Anneliese Johnson, told multiple media outlets.
Blinn enjoyed a four-decade career where, along with penning the script for the Prince-starring film, he also served as a writer for TV productions including “Roots,” “Bonanza” and “Fame.” In the 1970s, Blinn adapted Chicago Bears’ running back Gale Sayers’ autobiography, “I Am Third” into the ABC TV film, “Brian’s Song.” Based on the relationship between Sayers and his Bears teammate, Brian Piccolo, it is the fourth most-watched made-for-tv film. “Brian’s Song” earned Blinn one of his two Emmy awards.
In 1975, Blinn created “Starsky & Hutch,” which ran for 93 episodes over four seasons on ABC. It was originally presented as a 70-minute “movie of the week” before being turned into a TV show.