August 28, 2022

Mr Kirkwood was born in California to theatrical parents. His mother was actress Lila Lee, a leading lady in over 90 films, making the transition from silent to talkies and his father, James Kirkwood Senior, acted on the stage and in pictures and also directed films including many with Mary Pickford. Before taking up a writing career Mr Kirkwood was one half of the comedy team Jim Kirkwood and Lee Goodman. They played engagements in New York and London as well as making regular appearance on “The Garry Moore Show”, “The Ed Sullivan Show”, and had a radio show on WOR for several years. In addition to numerous television appearances, Mr Kirkwood appeared on the late CBS TV daytime soap “Valiant Lady” for four years. He was also featured on Broadway in Small Wonder and played opposite Tallulah Bankhead in Welcome Darlings. Mr Kirkwood’s novels include There Must Be a Pony! which he dramatized for the stage starring Myrna Loy, and the made-for-TV movie version starring Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Wagner; Good Times/Bad Times; P.S. Your Cat is Dead! which was also adapted for the stage with Keir Dullea and Tony Musante and made into a motion picture by Steve Guttenberg; Some Kind of Hero, which was made into a motion picture starring Richard Pryor; and Hit Me With A Rainbow. In addition, he wrote a non-fiction book, American Grotesque. As co-author with Nicholas Dante of A Chorus Line, he won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, among other honours. His play U.T.B.U. (Unhealthy to be Unpleasant) starred Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter and Alan Webb on Broadway. His last non-fiction book, Diary of a Mad Playwright: Perilous Adventures on the Road with Mary Martin and Carol Channing was about the road tour of his play Legends which is currently on tour starring Joan Collins and Linda Evans. Mr Kirkwood was nearly finished with the first draft of a new novel, I Teach Flying, when he passed away in 1989.