Norman Steinberg, Co-Writer of 'Blazing Saddles', Dead at 83

Norman Steinberg died at his Hudson Valley home in upstate New York on March 15

Norman Steinberg
Photo: JONATHON ZIEGLER/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Norman Steinberg, the co-writer of Blazing Saddles, has died, PEOPLE can confirm. He was 83.

Steinberg died on March 15 while he was at his Hudson Valley home in upstate New York, his daughter Daphne tells PEOPLE.

Per Variety, a memorial service for the Brooklyn-born screenwriter will be held in New York in the spring.

Alongside Daphne, Steinberg is also survived by son Nik, wife Serine Hastings, ex-wife Bonnie Strock — whom he shares Daphne and Nik with — plus three grandchildren.

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Norman Steinberg
JONATHON ZIEGLER/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The lawyer-turned-comedy scribe was most known for his legendary team-up with Mel Brooks, and in 1971 he earned an Emmy win for The Flip Wilson Show.

Brooks, 96, paid tribute to Steinberg in a Twitter post on Wednesday, after news broke of his death.

"It's a sad day when Norman Steinberg leaves us," Brooks wrote of his former work partner. "From BLAZING SADDLES to MY FAVORITE YEAR, he was one of the best writers I ever worked with. I'm so glad I rescued him from a dull stable legal career, because he always permeated the writers room with his infectious comic spirit."

According to THR, Brooks met Steinberg at the Chock Full O'Nuts café in Brooklyn, which was across from Steinberg's law office, when the future EGOT winner gave the lawyer a shot at writing a spy spoof script for him, Get Smart.

The move prompted Steinberg to end his legal career and instead try out a career in Hollywood. After Saddles, Steinberg wound up heading comedy development for Paramount Television

Some of Steinberg's other famous films include Johnny Dangerously (1984) with Michael Keaton, My Favorite Year (1982) with the late Peter O'Toole and Yes, Giorgio (1982) with the late Italian opera singer, Luciano Pavarotti.

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