Ernest Kinoy Dead: ‘Roots’ And ‘Golden Rainbow’ Movie Writer Dies In Vermont

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Ernest Kinoy, screenwriter and playwright best known for Golden Rainbow and Roots, is dead at the age of 89. According to Hollywood, the celebrated Hollywood movie writer died in his Townshend, Vermont, home on Monday, November 14, 2014. The cause of death is said to be renal failure and complications of pneumonia.

President Michael Winship, WGA East President, acknowledged Kinoy’s passing in a public statement, according to Variety.

“My most vivid memory of Ernie Kinoy is the phone calls he made to me during the 2007-08 Writers Guild strike in which he offered greatly valued advice, support and encouragement.() This Emmy Award winner was an important member of the Guild East, a past president who received two of our highest awards: the Hunter Award for career achievement and the Jablow Award for devoted service to the union. () It speaks to Ernie’s ardent belief in justice and civil liberty that this man, who as a Jewish World War II POW was sent to the brutal German concentration camp at Berga, would 35 years later find within himself the ability to write the moving teleplay ‘Skokie,’ the story of free speech and a neo-Nazi march through a Jewish community.”

The NYC native and Emmy Award-winning writer began his career in radio with NBC in the latter part of the 1940s before moving on to NBC television in the 1950s, according to the New York Times.

Born in 1925, Ernest Kinoy is a graduate of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and Columbia University. The brilliant writer also served during WWII.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Ernest Kinoy made the shift to made-for-television movies, debuting biographical movies and docudramas that were based on true stories.

As for other up and coming screenwriters and playwrights, Ernest Kinoy encourages them not to give up, and most importantly to keep writing.

“The first thing you have to know is to write. The second thing is finish it. And the third is send it to somebody. And the fourth is when they send it back, send it to somebody else. Essentially… if you’re going to do something — do it.”

Ernest Kinoy is survived by his loving family, including his son, Daniel, a daughter, Judith Kinoy, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. His wife — Barbara Powers Kinoy — whom he married in 1948, passed away in 2007.

[Photo Credit: Twitter and MuseumTV]