Link co-created the three classic detective shows with his childhood friend, the late Richard Levinson. Steven Spielberg, who directed Columbo's first episode (written by Steven Bochco), paid tribute to Link: “Bill’s truly good nature always inspired me to do good work for a man who, along with Dick Levinson, was a huge part of what became my own personal film school on the Universal lot," said Spielberg in a statement. "Bill was one of my favorite and most patient teachers and, more than anything, I learned so much from him about the true anatomy of a plot. I caught a huge break when Bill and Dick trusted a young, inexperienced director to do the first episode of Columbo. That job helped convince the studio to let me do Duel, and with all that followed I owe Bill so very, very much. My thoughts are with Margery and his entire family.” As Deadline notes, "Link, with Levinson, also co-created several groundbreaking television movies including My Sweet Charlie (1970) about the burgeoning friendship between a white pregnant runaway in her late teens and an African American lawyer wrongly accused of murder; That Certain Summer (1972) one of television’s first sympathetic portrayals of homosexuality and The Execution of Private Slovik (1974), a powerful account of the only soldier executed for desertion during World War II. Both of the latter films featured a young Martin Sheen."