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Trish Vradenburg Dies: ‘Family Ties’ Writer & Alzheimer’s Advocate Was 70

Deadline logo Deadline 4/18/2017 Liz Calvario
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Trish Vradenburg, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and writer for sitcoms Family Ties and Designing Women, died Monday after suffering a heart attack at her home in Washington. She was 70.

“It is with immense sadness that UsAgainstAlzheimer’s announces her passing, and it is with the utmost gratitude that the organization cherishes her legacy and forges ahead in her memory,” the organization shared on Tuesday.

Vradenburg began her career as a speechwriter in the U.S. Senate, then wrote for a number of TV shows, including CBS’ Kate and Allie, Everything’s Relative, Designing Women and wrote for Michael J. Fox’s Family Ties in 1988.

In 1986 she wrote the novel Liberated Lady, which was chosen as Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections. Vradenburg also wrote for the The New York Daily News, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Ladies’ Home Journal and Women’s Day.

In 2010, she and her husband George Vradenburg founded UsAgainstAlzheimer in an effort to fight back against the disease after her mother Bea Lerner passed away from it. She also wrote Surviving Grace, a quasi-autobiographical play about a sitcom writer and her mom battling Alzheimer’s disease together.

She is survived by husband George; daughter Alissa Vradenburg and son-in-law Michael Sheresky; son Tyler Vradenburg and daughter-in-law Jeannine; grandchildren Harrison Sheresky, Skyler Sheresky, May Vradenburg and Gavin Vradenburg; and her brother Rabbi Michael Lerner and sister-in-law Cat.

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