Nellie Andreeva

Comedy writer Jeffrey Hodes has died suddenly from cancer treatment-related complications. He was in his 40s. Hodes had cancer but was in remission and was getting ready for a bone marrow transplant. He went in yesterday for a blood transfusion in preparation for the transplant when he started having breathing problems. An MRI revealed blood in his brain and, after a day in intensive care, he was taken off life support this afternoon. For his entire career, Hodes worked with Nastaran Dibai, who was his wife and writing partner. Hodes is survived by Dibai and their young daughter. Hodes and Dibai worked together on such comedy series as According to Jim, 3rd Rock From the Sun and The Nanny and the Kelly Ripa-starring Hope & Faith. Last year, Hodes and Dibai developed a comedy project for ABC with Ripa and her husband Mark Consuelos. “Jeffrey Hodes was a brilliant comedy writer, an amazing showrunner and a wonderful husband and father,” Ripa said. “I considered myself one of the luckiest people alive to call him a true friend. I will miss him terribly.” The Ripa/Consuelos project was executive produced by Aaron Kaplan, who collaborated with Hodes and Dibai on several projects, including the ABC pilot Funny in Farsi, which the writing duo created. “He was an fantastic writer and an even better husband and father.” Kaplan said. “The world has lost a truly talented man.” TV producer Mindy Schultheis was also among Hodes’ close friends (Hodes and Dibai wrote for the Lifetime comedy Rita Rocks, which Schultheis produced). “I’m heartbroken,” Schultheis said. “I honestly don’t even have the words to express how much he will be missed. He had a passion for life, his family and his work that permeated all he did. He was not only an incredibly talented writer but he was a truly wonderful guy.” Up until Hodes’ death, he and Dibai were serving as co-executive producers on TV Land’s recently renewed series Happily Divorced, reuniting with The Nanny star/co-creator Fran Drescher. The two wrote the first-season finale of the comedy, their last produced episode.

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