Torokvei in The New Avengers in 1977
March 19, 1951
|Died||July 3, 2013(aged 62)|
|Occupation||Actor, writer, producer|
PJ Torokvei (born Peter Torokvei; March 19, 1951 – July 3, 2013) was a Canadian screenwriter, actor, and television producer. A trans woman, her professional credits are generally under her birth name. In 2001, she announced to friends and family her intention to transition from her sex assigned at birth and undergo sex reassignment surgery.
Torokvei was involved with both The Second City and SCTV. Her notable works in film include the screenplays for Real Genius, Armed and Dangerous, Back to School and Guarding Tess. Her most notable work for television was as a producer and head writer on WKRP in Cincinnati. She appeared in and wrote for various television shows and films from the 1970s through the 1990s. She died at home[where?] from liver failure on July 3, 2013 at the age of 62.
- The New Avengers (1977)
- SCTV (1981)
- I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood (1989)
- Hostage for a Day (1994)
- Falling for You (1995)
- Stuart Saves His Family (1995)
- WKRP in Cincinnati (Producer - 2 episodes) (1981-1982)
- SCTV (1981)
- WKRP in Cincinnati (1979-1982)
- Real Genius (with Neal Israel and Pat Proft) (1985)
- Back to School (with Harold Ramis, Steven Kampmann and Will Porter) (1986)
- Armed and Dangerous (with Harold Ramis) (1986)
- Caddyshack II (with Harold Ramis) (1988)
- The Earth Day Special (1990)
- Guarding Tess (1994)
- Hostage for a Day (with Kari Hildebrand and Robert David Crane) (1994)
- A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes (1995)
In 1977 Torokvei joined the Toronto branch of Second City, where she met writer/performer Steven Kampmann and Martin Short. Torokvei, Kampmann, and Short collaborated on a short comedy film called The Cisco Kid, which involved dubbing comic dialogue and sound effects onto an older western (much like Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily?). The film was later broadcast on Canadian TV as an "extra" episode on SCTV. In 1979, Kampmann and Torokvei went to Los Angeles after The Cisco Kid came to the attention of Hugh Wilson, who invited them to come in and pitch WKRP script ideas. Torokvei would eventually become head writer and stay until near the end of the final season. Many of the show's most memorable and imaginative episodes, including "Real Families," "Daydreams," and "Rumors" were written by Torokvei.
In both 1981 and 1982, Torokvei (as Peter Torokvei) was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards in her role as producer on WKRP in Cincinnati. She is often cited as one of the first transgender people to be nominated for an Emmy.
- Brooks, Stan (July 9, 2013). "Remembering PJ Torokvei: Comedy Genius Behind 'WKRP' Was Transgender Trailblazer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- "Our Alumni". The Second City. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. "WKRP in Cincinnati, Emmys.com; retrieved June 4, 2013.
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