'Ray' Screenwriter James L. White Dies at 67

REX USA
James L. White

The biopic earned an Oscar for Jamie Foxx's turn as the legendary singer.

James L. White, who wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-winning 2004 drama Ray, has died. He was 67. 

The writer passed away early Thursday morning at home in Santa Monica, his attorney Matthew H. Saver told The Hollywood Reporter. He died from complications resulting from pancreatic and liver cancer. 

White's story for the 2004 drama chronicled the career evolution of singer Ray Charles, who was portrayed by Jamie Foxx in an Oscar-winning turn. The drama was directed by Taylor Hackford, who is also credited on the story.

The biopic was nominated for six Academy Awards and White was nominated for best original screenplay at the British Academy Film Awards. Ray was the writer's only credited screenplay that was produced, his attorney confirmed.  

"Jimmy White was a lovely man and a terrific writer," Hackford said in a statement. "His insights as a black man growing up in the south [Kentucky] were an invaluable asset in writing the script for Ray."

White's family stated that there won't be services for the writer, who's said to have stated: "Don't throw a funeral because I won't be there." 

Survivors include wife Elizabeth, daughters Monee and Martina and son Jimmy.

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