Screenwriter T.S. Cook Dies at 65

6:39 PM PST 01/14/2013 by Mike Barnes

He collected an Oscar nomination for “The China Syndrome” and an Emmy nom for the telefilm “The Tuskegee Airmen.”

T.S. Cook, who earned an Academy Award nomination for co-writing the 1979 nuclear power suspense thriller The China Syndrome, died Jan. 5 at his home in Hollywood after a battle with cancer. He was 65.

Cook also received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for co-writing the 1996 HBO telefilm The Tuskegee Airmen, starring Lawrence Fishburne, Allen Payne and Malcolm Jamal-Warner.

His TV credits also include such series such as Airwolf, The Paper Chase and Baretta and the telefilms Scared Straight: Another Story (1980); Nightbreaker (1989), for which he he received a WGA award; a remake of the Western classic High Noon (2000); and the Lucille Ball biopic Lucy (2003), starring Rachel York.

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Cook shared his Oscar nom with Mike Gray and James Bridges for his original screenplay work on The China Syndrome, which starred Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda and earned four Academy Award mentions in all. The trio also collected noms from the Globes and BAFTA and won a WGA trophy.

A WGA West member since 1975, the Cleveland native served on the WGAW’s board of directors from 1995-97 and was a strike captain during the guild’s 1988 strike. He was a member of many WGAW committees through the years and a Pension & Health trustee from 2006 until his death.

In recent years, Thomas S. Cook turned his energies to writing plays. He was a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre in Los Angeles, a co-founder of the Fierce Backbone Theatre Company and a board member of the latter from 2007 until the onset of his illness. Among a number of productions, his play Ravensridge had its world premiere at the Fremont Centre Theatre in Pasadena in 2007.

Survivors include his wife Monique, his children Kate and Chris, his mother Betty and his brothers Jim and Bill.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Cook’s name to the Writers Guild Foundation.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Feb. 9 at the Hollywood United Methodist Church.

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