Jerome Kass, Writer of 'Queen of the Stardust Ballroom,' Dies at 78
The husband of writer Delia Ephron, he adapted his teleplay for the Broadway musical 'Ballroom.'
Jerome Kass, who wrote the screenplay for the acclaimed 1975 telefilm Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, starring Maureen Stapleton and Charles Durning, died on Thursday, his family announced. He was 78.
The wife of the Emmy- and Tony-award nominee is author, screenwriter and playwright Delia Ephron, the sister of the late screenwriter and director Nora Ephron. The New York Times reported that the cause of death was prostate cancer and that he died at home in Manhattan.
CBS’ Queen of the Stardust Ballroom starred two lonely people looking for love — Stapleton as a widow from the Bronx and Durning as the mailman she meets at a dance hall. Kass, Stapleton, Durning and Charlotte Rae were nominated for Emmys; the production, which also featured contributions from lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman, collected 11 noms in all, winning for cinematography and choreography.
Kass then picked up a Tony nom for Ballroom, his 1978 Broadway musical adaptation that starred Dorothy Loudon and Vincent Gardenia as the lonely pair. It was directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett in his follow-up to A Chorus Line and received nine Tony noms, including one for best musical and a win for choreography.
A native of Chicago who was raised in the Bronx, Kass also co-wrote the screenplay for the 1983 telefilm The Black Stallion Returns and adapted a 1978 novel by Belva Plain for the 1985 NBC miniseries Evergreen, starring Lesley Ann Warren.