James Costigan

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James Costigan (March 31, 1926 – December 19, 2007) was an American television actor and Emmy Award-winning television screenwriter. His writing credited included the Eleanor and Franklin and Love Among the Ruins television movies.[1]

Costigan was born on March 31, 1926, in Belvedere Gardens in East Los Angeles, where his parents owned and operated a hardware store. He first achieved some level of success in the 1950s, when he began being hired to write television anthology series, such as Studio One and Kraft Television Theatre.[1] Costigan won his first Emmy for original teleplay in 1959 for Little Moon of Alban, a segment which appeared as part of the Hallmark Hall of Fame.[1] The segment, which starred Christopher Plummer and Julie Harris, was set during the Irish War of Independence.[1]

Costigan earned a second Emmy nomination in for his script adaptation of The Turn of the Screw in 1959.[1] He did not win the award, but acclaimed actress Ingrid Bergman won an Emmy for her performance in The Turn of the Screw.[1]

Costigan increasingly began writing for Broadway theater, as the format of television began to change. His Broadway credits included Baby Want a Kiss, a 1964 comedy which starred Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman.[1]

He returned to screenwriting for television in the early 1970s. His 1970s work included A War of Children, written in 1972, which was about a Catholic family and a Protestant family in Northern Ireland, whose long time friendship is threatened by sectarian violence.[1]

He won a second Emmy Award for Love Among the Ruins, a 1975 television movie set in Edwardian England, which starred Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier.[1] His third Emmy win was for 1976's Eleanor and Franklin, a two-part, four-hour-long television drama focusing on the lives of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt.[1]

James Costigan died on December 19, 2007, at his home in Bainbridge Island, Washington, of heart failure and the age of 81.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k McLellan, Dennis (2008-01-14). "James Costigan, 81, actor and award-winning TV writer". Los Angeles Times. Boston Globe. 

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