Gary David Goldberg

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Gary David Goldberg, the creator of Family Ties, died Saturday at his home in Montecito, Calif., after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 86.

Goldberg, who passed just two days shy of his 69th birthday, is the man responsible for making Michael J. Fox a star after Family Ties became of the most successful TV shows of the '80s. The duo reunited for ABC's Spin City before Charlie Sheen replaced Fox, who left the series after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Sheen took to Twitter to mourn Golberg's passing, tweeting, "Gary David Goldberg left us today. my friend my sit com mentor a genius. period the end he's the sole reason I have a tv career peace GDB."

"With a full heart I say goodbye to my mentor, benefactor, partner, second father and beloved friend, Gary David Goldberg," Fox said in a statement. "He touched so many with his enormous talent and generous spirit.  He changed my life profoundly. Love to Diana and all of Gary's family."

Friends and Cougar Town Star Courteney Cox, who played Lauren Miller on Family Ties, also took to Twitter to pay respect to Goldberg, writing, "My thoughts and prayers are with Gary David Goldberg's family. A wonderful man who taught me so much."

Michael Gross, who played Keaton family patriarch Steven, issued a statement, saying, "Gary's love for his wife and his family was at the center of his work, and I was fortunate to be a part of that work. I did not watch a lot of prime-time television prior to my role on Family Ties, so just assumed that most television shows were as well-written, as well-run and as much fun as ours.  Gary was a good man and a fine storyteller.  Society needs its storytellers, particularly those who make us laugh, and his sweet, compassionate voice will be missed."

Bill Lawrence, the co-creator of Spin City, tweeted, "Everyone has a mentor (or two hopefully) that touches his/her life. Gary Goldberg passed away today. Wish I had thanked him more."

In addition to Spin City and Family Ties, Goldberg also created CBS' Brooklyn Bridge and worked on The Bob Newhart Show, M*A*S*H and Lou Grant.

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