|Cranston, RI||July 20, 2020|
David Angell was a producer and screenwriter on some of the most memorable television shows of the late twentieth century, and his life came to a tragic end in one of the most significant events of the early twenty-first century. Teamed with Peter Casey and David Lee, Angell won eight Emmy Awards for his work on the NBC programs Cheers and Frasier between 1984 and 1998. Frasier was nominated in the Outstanding Comedy Series category for eight consecutive years, with its final nod coming in 2001. The writing/producing trio lost to the creative team behind HBO’s Sex and the City that November, but Angell did not live to attend the ceremony. In September, when the 53rd Primetime Emmy Awards were originally scheduled to be held, the United States was rocked by a series of coordinated terrorist attacks. 2,977 innocent people were killed, with David Angell and his wife, Lynn Edwards Angell, among them.
Lynn and David Angell — who with Casey and Lee also co-created the TV program Wings — spent summer 2001 in the coastal Cape Cod community of Chatham. There, by Mill Pond, the couple of 30 years watched their “dream retirement home” develop. On the morning of Tuesday, September 11th, the Angells flew out of Boston’s Logan International Airport aboard American Airlines Flight 11. They intended to return to Los Angeles for a Frasier table read and the Emmys ceremony, slated for September 16th. But the Boeing 767 in which the Angells were traveling was hijacked by five members of the extremist organization al Qa’ida, and its final destination was the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. Ringleader Mohamed Atta crashed the craft into the building at 8:46 a.m. EDT. The 110-story building collapsed at 10:28 a.m. David and Lynn Angell’s remains were eventually identified and laid to rest with David’s parents, Henry and Mae, in Cranston, Rhode Island. Their interment was in September 2008, seven years after their homicides.
There are conflicting sets of information about the year and place of David Angell’s birth. A New York Times profile says the Providence College alumnus died at 54 years of age, which aligns with the birth year of 1947 carved into his gravestone. Many sources also list Angell’s birthplace as West Barrington, Rhode Island. I am more inclined to believe Angell’s detailed obituary, which says he was born on April 10, 1946 in Providence.
Born: April 10, 1946 in Providence, Rhode Island
Spouse: Mary Lynn Edwards Angell (m. 1971-2001)
Emmy Awards: Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series (1984); Outstanding Comedy Series (1989, 1994-1998); Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Comedy Series (1994)
Died: September 11, 2001 in New York, New York
Cause of Death: Airplane Crash
Interment: St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston, Rhode Island
"He was a terrific writer. He was also a really nice guy. It was great to know him, and so losing him was something everybody felt like a gut shot."
- Kelsey Grammer
2021, regarding the death of David Angell in the 9/11 terrorist attacks
Sources Consulted and Further Reading
Andreeva, Nellie. “Kelsey Grammer Remembers ‘Frasier’ Co-Creator David Angell, Who Perished In 9/11 Attacks, And A Somber Trip To Ground Zero.” Deadline. September 9, 2021. https://deadline.com/2021/09/david-angell-september-11-kelsey-grammer-remembers-frasier-creator-1234827674/.
Legacy. “David Angell.” September 17, 2001. https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/legacy/obituary.aspx?n=david-angell&pid=91766.
Lord, Robin. “Angells known as ‘beautiful spirits.'” Cape Cod Times. September 13, 2001. Updated January 5, 2011. https://www.capecodtimes.com/story/news/2001/09/13/angells-known-as-beautiful-spirits/50979646007/.
Television Academy. “David Angell.” Accessed January 28, 2023. https://www.emmys.com/bios/david-angell.