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Ernest Kinoy

( b. Apr 01, 1925 New York, New York, USA - d. Nov 10, 2014 Townshend, Vermont, USA ) Male

Ernest Kinoy wrote Broadway musicals, Hollywood screenplays and Emmy Award-winning episodes of "The Defenders" and "Roots." He began writing for NBC Radio in the late 1940s and moved to NBC Television as that medium expanded in the 1950s. He sometimes did freelance work 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 a Ugandan airport. 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.

"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 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 First Amendment trial involving neo-Nazis who wanted to stage a rally in Skokie, Ill., a predominantly Jewish suburb of Chicago; and "Lincoln" (1988), a mini-series starring Sam Waterston and Mary Tyler Moore based on Gore Vidal's historical novel.

Source: The New York Times obituary

ProductionsDate of Productions
Golden Rainbow
[Musical, Original]
  • Book by Ernest Kinoy
Feb 04, 1968 - Jan 11, 1969
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
  • Book by Ernest Kinoy
Nov 23, 1964 - Jun 12, 1965
Something About a Soldier
[Play, Original]
  • Written by Ernest Kinoy
Jan 04, 1962 - Jan 13, 1962
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