James Kirkwood

(Book, Chorus Line) (1924–1989) was an American playwright, author and actor. In 1976 he received the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his work on A Chorus Line. Born in Los Angeles, Kirkwood began his career as an actor, appearing on television in Valiant Lady and Perry Mason, and on Broadway in Small Wonder and Dance Me A Song, among others. As an author, he penned the semi-autobiographical novel There Must Be a Pony, along with P.S. Your Cat Is Dead, Good Times/Bad Times, Some Kind of Hero, and Hit Me with a Rainbow. In 1970, he wrote the non-fiction American Grotesque, about the trial of Clay Shaw. His comedic play Legends! toured the United States starring Mary Martin and Carol Channing. He later wrote an account of the experience, titled Diary of a Mad Playwright: Perilous Adventures on the Road with Mary Martin and Carol Channing. Kirkwood died of AIDS-related complications in 1989. In his memory, friends and admirers established the James Kirkwood Literary Prize to honor new generations of fiction writers for their literary achievements.