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Ernest Kinoy

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Ernest Kinoy

Ernest Kinoy
Born (1925-04-01)April 1, 1925
New York City, New York, US
Died November 10, 2014(2014-11-10) (aged 89)
Townshend, Vermont, U.S.
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Notable awards Two Emmy Awards for dramatic writing
Spouse Barbara Powers (2 children)

Ernest Kinoy (April 1, 1925 – November 10, 2014) was an American writer, screenwriter and playwright.

Early life

Kinoy was born in New York City on April 1, 1925; his father and mother were both high-school teachers. His older brother Arthur Kinoy later became a leading constitutional lawyer. Kinoy attended the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and later Columbia University, although his studies were interrupted by military service during World War II.[1] During his army service with the 106th Infantry Division, Kinoy was made a prisoner of war,[2] and was interned at the Stalag IX-B camp[3] but, as a Jewish POW, was subsequently sent to the slave labour camp at Berga.[4]

Following his return from the war and graduation from Columbia, he joined NBC as a staff writer in 1948.[5]

Radio, television and screen career

NBC years (1948–1960)

During his time at NBC, Kinoy wrote scripts for many of the major NBC radio and television dramas of the 1950s, including the television anthology series Studio One and Playhouse 90. He wrote the script for the short-lived series The Marriage, which was an adaptation of a previous Kinoy-scripted radio show of the same name.[6] The series, although well-received, was cancelled when the stars Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy chose to pursue their stage careers. He was also a writer for The Imogene Coca Show, which ran for one season following the conclusion of her run on Your Show of Shows in 1954.[5]

Kinoy was a contributor of original stories, such as "The Martian Death March", to the Rocky Fortune, which starred Frank Sinatra and ran weekly on NBC from October 1953 through March 1954.[8] Other contributions to NBC radio series included "Radio City Playhouse" and adaptations of an original story for the anthology program NBC Presents: Short Story.[9]

1960s television work

Following his departure from NBC in 1960, Kinoy wrote scripts for episodes of popular television series including The Defenders, Naked City, Route 66, Doctor Kildare and Shane.

His script for the "Blacklist" episode of The Defenders, which guest-starred Jack Klugman as an actor unable to work in his profession due to being on the Hollywood blacklist, won Kinoy his first Emmy Award in the Outstanding Writing Achievement in Drama - Original category in 1964.[10]

Kinoy wrote the television adaptations for the musical Brigadoon, a 1966 ABC production, and for NBC's Pinocchio, which aired in 1968.

He served as President of the Writers Guild of America, East from 1969 to 1971.[5]


Kinoy wrote the screenplays for two films starring Sidney Poitier: Brother John which was released in 1971 and the 1972 western film Buck and the Preacher, starring Poitier and Harry Belafonte. Leadbelly, based on the life of the blues musician Lead Belly and written by Kinoy was released in 1976.

The 1976 Kinoy-scripted television movie Victory at Entebbe, made soon after the hostage-rescue operation at Entebbe Airport was nominated for four Emmys, including a nomination for Kinoy.[11]

Kinoy, along with William Blinn, won an Emmy in 1977 for their script for the second episode of the miniseries Roots. Kinoy received another Emmy nomination as the head writer of the sequel to the series, Roots: The Next Generations, in 1979.[5]


The 1981 television movie Skokie, a drama based on the real life NSPA Controversy of Skokie, Illinois won Kinoy a Writers Guild of America Award, as well as a fifth Emmy nomination in the category Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or Special. He wrote the script for the 1986 HBO movie Murrow,[12] based on the life of Edward R. Murrow, and the teleplay for the television adaptation of the Gore Vidal novel Lincoln.


Kinoy adapted the screenplay for the 1991 TV movie Chernobyl: The Final Warning from a book by Robert Peter Gale and Thomas Hauser. Airing on TNT, the film starred Jon Voight and Jason Robards.[13]

Plays and musicals

Kinoy wrote the "book" (story and spoken dialogue) for the musicals Golden Rainbow, Bajour and Chaplin.[14]

In 1962, Kinoy wrote the play Something About a Soldier: A Comedy-drama in Three Acts, which was based on the 1957 novel by Mark Harris. Starring Ken Kercheval, Tony Roberts and Sal Mineo, the play had a short run at the Ambassador Theatre on Broadway in January of that year.[15]

Personal life

Kinoy was married to Barbara Powers, a doctor of psychotherapy, psychiatric social worker and an authority on the treatment of eating disorders, from 1948 until her death in 2007.[16] They had two children. On November 10, 2014, Kinoy died of pneumonia. He was 89.[17]


  1. ^ Ernest Kinoy. Ernest Kinoy - Archive Interview Part 1 of 10 (video). Archive of American Television. 
  2. ^ Elliott B. Gertel (2005-08-03). "Jewish moral voices on ‘Naked City’ – Part III". Jewish Post & Opinion. 
  3. ^ Roger Cohen (2005-02-27). "The Lost Soldiers Of Stalag IX-B". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  4. ^ Shandler, Jeffrey. While America Watches: Televising the Holocaust. pp. 51–55.  
  5. ^ a b c d J.B. Bird. "KINOY, ERNEST". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  6. ^ "The Digital Deli Too Golden Age Radio Catalog - The Marriage". Digital Deli Too. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  7. ^ John Dunning (1998). On The Air. Oxford University Press. p. 729.  
  8. ^ , Old Time RadioRocky Fortune From Internet Archive. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
  9. ^ Jim Widner. "NBC’s Short Story". Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  10. ^ "Ernest Kinoy profile". Variety. Retrieved 2009-03-24.  in 1964.
  11. ^ "Overview for Victory at Entebbe (1976)". TCM Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  12. ^ Richard Zoglin (2005-06-21). "Tackling a TV News Legend". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  13. ^ Chernobyl: The Final Warning From Retrieved 2009-03-26.
  14. ^ "Ernest Kinoy Theater Credits". Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  15. ^ Something About a Soldier Synopsis from Retrieved 2009-03-26.
  16. ^ "Deaths - Kinoy, Barbara Powers". New York Times. 2007-03-16. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  17. ^

External links

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