IN REMEMBRANCE: 11-16-2014

ERNEST KINOY, A WRITER OF TV’S ‘ROOTS’

Ernest Kinoy Credit Daniel Kinoy

The cause was renal failure, said his son, Daniel.

Mr. Kinoy began writing for NBC Radio in the late 1940s and moved to NBC Television as the medium expanded in the 1950s. He sometimes freelanced for other networks and mainly wrote for live anthology shows like “Studio One” and “Playhouse 90.”

In 1962 he adapted Mark Harris’s novel “Something About a Soldier” into a Broadway play with the same title. It gave Sal Mineo his first starring role on Broadway. Mr. Kinoy also wrote the book for the Broadway musicals “Bajour” (1964) and “Golden Rainbow” (1968).

Mr. Kinoy (pronounced kin-OY) wrote for television series like “Naked City” and “The Defenders,” the hit CBS drama that starred E. G. Marshall and Robert Reed as a father-son legal team. He won the Emmy for outstanding writing achievement in drama in 1964 for “Blacklist,” a “Defenders” episode starring Jack Klugman as a blacklisted actor.

During the 1970s Mr. Kinoy wrote screenplays for the theatrical films “Brother John” (1971) and “Buck and the Preacher” (1972), both starring Sidney Poitier, and the television movie “Victory at Entebbe” (1976), which came out months after Israel’s rescue of hostages at an airport in Uganda. It starred Burt Lancaster as Shimon Peres and Anthony Hopkins as Yitzhak Rabin and featured Elizabeth Taylor and Kirk Douglas.

Mr. Kinoy worked closely with William Blinn, the head writer, on “Roots,” the wildly successful ABC adaptation of the Alex Haley historical novel. For a time Mr. Kinoy worried that the network might never broadcast the program, which followed a black family from enslavement in Africa through the Civil War.

“I didn’t think they’d put it on,” he said in an interview with the Archive of American Television. “I would have thought they’d chicken out on it because it was directly contrary to what most of American show business was willing to do about black people and black history.”

“Roots,” shown on eight consecutive nights in 1977, became one of the most-watched television programs ever. Mr. Kinoy shared an Emmy with Mr. Blinn for their work on the second installment. Mr. Kinoy was also the head writer for the 1979 sequel, “Roots: The Next Generations.”

Mr. Kinoy was born to Albert Kinoy and the former Sarah Forstadt in New York City on April 1, 1925. He graduated from the Fieldston School in the Bronx and was drafted into the Army during during World War II.

He served in the 106th Infantry Division and was taken prisoner after the Battle of the Bulge. He threw away his dog tags, which identified him as Jewish, but the Germans still sent him to a slave labor camp with other Jewish prisoners of war. He later wrote a television play based on the experience, “Walk Down the Hill” (1957).

After returning from the war, Mr. Kinoy graduated from Columbia University, where he wrote stage plays. He landed a job with NBC soon after college.

His wife of 58 years, the former Barbara Powers, died in 2007.

Mr. Kinoy was the president of the Writers Guild of America East from 1967 to 1969.

His other notable scripts include “Skokie” (1981), a television movie starring Danny Kaye about a free-speech trial for neo-Nazis who wanted to stage a rally in a Jewish community in Skokie, Ill., and “Lincoln” (1988), a mini-series starring Sam Waterston and Mary Tyler Moore based on the historical novel by Gore Vidal.

In addition to his son, Mr. Kinoy, who lived in Williamsville, Vt., is survived by a daughter, Judith Kinoy; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

SOURCE

****************************************************************

JANE BYRNE, ONLY WOMAN TO LEAD CHICAGO

Mayor Jane M. Byrne of Chicago in 1979. She rose in the city as a protégé of Mayor Richard J. Daley. Credit United Press International

Her daughter, Kathy Byrne, announced the death.

Ms. Byrne rose in Chicago as a protégé of the formidable Mayor Richard J. Daley, who made her commissioner of sales, weights and measures in the late 1960s. Yet after Mr. Daley died in 1976, she displayed little loyalty to his successor, Michael A. Bilandic, a product of Mr. Daley’s machine.

When she announced that she would challenge Mr. Bilandic in the 1979 Democratic primary, suggesting that she was Mr. Daley’s true political heir, she was called quixotic. It was well known that Mr. Bilandic had removed her from her post at City Hall.

“You cannot expect the media to ignore your opponent even if it is only Jane Byrne,” read a memo, apparently written by a Bilandic aide, that was made public 25 years later as part of a collection of Mr. Bilandic’s papers given to the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Then came the winter of 1978-79. Snow owned the city, and many streets went unplowed. Furnaces failed, murders rose and people committed violence in defense of parking places they had shoveled clear. Cabin fever was epidemic.

Chicagoans wanted to blame someone, and Ms. Byrne pointed to Mr. Bilandic. “The abominable snowman,” she called him.

She went on to defeat in him, narrowly, in the primary held in February, in the teeth of that bleak winter. In heavily Democratic Chicago, the candidate who wins the primary is almost certain to win the mayoralty, and Ms. Byrne cruised to victory in the general election in April, with the reluctant support of the party apparatus.

She became one of the first women to lead a major United States city, and no woman has been mayor of Chicago since. But her single term proved complicated.

Ms. Byrne was praised for helping to revitalize the business district known as the Loop, and for helping to turn Navy Pier into a waterfront mall. She encouraged arts and cultural festivals and farmer’s markets, all of which are now common.

She drew attention to troubles at one of the city’s most notorious housing projects, Cabrini-Green, by moving in, with heavy security, for about three weeks in 1981. Her unit was scrubbed and painted before she arrived.

But the maverick, combative style that had helped get Ms. Byrne elected did not always work at City Hall. She faced strikes by public workers early on, and the city’s finances were troubled. She was criticized as having come under the influence of the same political machine that she had boasted of defying. Questions were raised about her quick firings and hires, one of whom was her daughter, who was given city job in public relations.

She was also accused of focusing too much on downtown and not enough on struggling minority neighborhoods. And late in her term, federal authorities demanded that the city return $28 million in community development funds that they said she had used improperly.

One of her most vocal critics was Representative Harold Washington, who challenged her in the 1983 Democratic primary. Ms. Byrne far outspent him and another challenger, Richard M. Daley, a son of her mentor. But Mr. Washington, who was black, benefited from division among white voters. He narrowly won a plurality in the three-way race, with Ms. Byrne finishing second. That April he was elected the city’s first black mayor.

Mr. Washington proved more popular in office than Ms. Byrne had been, and he defeated her a second time when she challenged him in the primary in 1987. But his career was cut short when he died in office that November at 65. Mr. Daley became mayor in a special election in 1989 and served until 2011, the longest tenure in Chicago history.

“From signing the first ordinance to get handguns off of our streets, to bringing more transparency to the city’s budget, to creating the Taste of Chicago, Mayor Byrne leaves a large and lasting legacy,” the city’s current mayor, Rahm Emanuel, said in a statement on Friday.

Margaret Jane Burke was born on May 24, 1933, in Chicago to William Patrick Burke and Katherine Marie Nolan. She attended the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In addition to her daughter, her survivors include a grandson. Her second husband, Jay McMullen, a journalist and political adviser whom she married in 1978, died in 1992. Her first husband, William P. Byrne, a pilot in the Marines who was Kathy Byrne’s father, died in a plane crash in 1959.

Gender was a constant issue in Ms. Byrne’s political career. A Bilandic campaign memo now in the collection at the Daley Library urged the incumbent to present himself as “a mayor of responsibility and stature,” leaving Ms. Byrne to appear as “a shrill, charging, vindictive person — and nothing makes a woman look worse.”

When she ran for re-election in 1983, her opponents boasted of their record on women’s issues. Ms. Byrne did so less often.

“We are not in a campaign to elect a woman,” Karen Petit, who held Ms. Byrne’s former job as weights and measures commissioner, said at the time. “The mayor is a noun that knows no gender.”

SOURCE

*********************************************************

GLEN LARSON, PRODUCER OF ‘KNIGHT RIDER’ AND ‘MAGNUM, P.I.’

Glen A. Larson in Hollywood, Calif., in 2004. Credit Albert L. Ortega/WireImage

His death, at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, was caused by complications of esophageal cancer, his son James said.

Mr. Larson, a singer and composer as well, helped write the theme songs for some of his hits, including the frequently sampled tune from “Knight Rider” and the orchestral music behind “Battlestar Galactica,” his son said.

Mr. Larson was nominated three times for an Emmy and once for a Grammy, for the original score of “Battlestar Galactica.” He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985.

He was born on Jan. 3, 1937, to a Swedish immigrant mother and a Swedish-American father in Long Beach, Calif.

In 1956 he joined a vocal group called The Four Preps, which earned three gold records and appeared in “Gidget,” a 1959 movie with Sandra Dee about the California surfing scene. He helped write and compose some of the Preps’ hits, including “26 Miles (Santa Catalina),” ‘’Big Man” and “Down by the Station.”

His first television writing credit came in 1966, on an episode of “The Fugitive.” By 1968 he had worked his way up to an associate producer on the series “It Takes a Thief” and soon began producing some of the biggest TV shows of the time. At one point he had five shows on the air at the same time, his son said.

Mr. Larson’s list of nearly four-dozen TV credits also includes “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries,” “B.J. and the Bear,” “The Fall Guy” and the TV movie “The Six Million Dollar Man.”

Besides his son James, he is survived by his wife, Jeannie Pledger; a brother, and eight other children from two different marriages.

SOURCE

***************************************************************

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s