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Jame Costigan Writer/Actor Dead at 81

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January 6, 2008



Hi all Members,


What a sad day for Hollywood another of Television great's are gone:

I was very saddend to read this article as this man achieved so much and in the end of his life had no one around for him.

No Family or friends to morn him and he died alone.



James Costigan, Writer of Prestige TV, Is Dead


Published: January 5, 2008

James Costigan, an Emmy-winning writer for television who worked with some of the leading actors of the postwar years, among them Katharine Hepburn, Laurence Olivier, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, died on Dec. 19 at his home on Bainbridge Island, Wash. He was believed to have been in his late 70s or early 80s.


The apparent cause was heart failure, according to the Cook Family Funeral Home, located on the island.


A three-time Emmy winner, Mr. Costigan was perhaps best known for the television film “Love Among the Ruins.” Directed by George Cukor, it starred Ms. Hepburn and Mr. Olivier as two aging ex-lovers. Mr. Costigan’s original screenplay won an Emmy in 1975.


Mr. Costigan earned another Emmy the next year for the television film “Eleanor and Franklin.” An adaptation of the biography by Joseph P. Lash, it starred Jane Alexander and Edward Herrmann. Mr. Costigan also wrote the screenplay for the sequel, “Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years,” broadcast in 1977.


Mr. Costigan’s first Emmy came in 1959, for his original screenplay “Little Moon of Alban,” an episode of “Hallmark Hall of Fame.” The story of a romance between an Irish nurse and an English soldier, it starred Julie Harris and Christopher Plummer, and also featured Mr. Costigan, who had begun his career as an actor.


Writing about the show in 1958, Time magazine said that it “rose to a level rare in the theater and rarer yet on TV,” adding: “A slight, unprepossessing man with a boyish face and frizzly red hair, Costigan is an actor of considerable force.”


In 1960, a stage version of “Little Moon of Alban,” starring Ms. Harris and Robert Redford, played for 20 performances on Broadway.


Mr. Costigan’s other Broadway credits include the book and lyrics for “The Beast in Me,” an original musical that ran briefly in 1963; and the original comedy “Baby Want a Kiss,” which ran for 148 performances in 1964. Directed by Frank Corsaro, it starred Ms. Woodward, Mr. Newman and Mr. Costigan.


The son of a chandelier manufacturer, James Costigan was born in the late 1920s — sources vary on the precise year — and reared in the Los Angeles area. As a child, he played bit parts in the movies and as a young man struck out for New York, where he acted in small roles onstage and on television.


Turning to screenwriting in the early 1950s, Mr. Costigan wrote scripts for many well-known dramatic shows of the period, among them “Studio One,” “Kraft Television Theatre” and “The United States Steel Hour.” In 1958, for “The DuPont Show of the Month,” he wrote a widely praised adaptation of “Wuthering Heights”; it starred Richard Burton and Rosemary Harris.


In later years, Mr. Costigan collaborated on the screenplays of several Hollywood films, including “The Hunger” (1983), “King David” (1985) and “Mr. North” (1988).


Mr. Costigan had no known family members, according the funeral home. An obituary last Saturday in The Bainbridge Island Review said that he had lived on the island as a recluse for many years and was found dead in his apartment by neighbors.


Note: I did find out that Mr. Costigan did have family:

A neice Berry and another Neice and Nephew:

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