The T.S. (Thomas S.) Cook Collection, 1967-2008, consists primarily of Cook’s scripts, produced and unproduced, written for
film, episodic television and television movies, including his Academy Award nominated The China Syndrome (1979). Materials
include outlines, research notes, correspondence and clippings related to his writing projects, as well as Cook’s Olivetti
typewriter and picket signs from Writers Guild of America strikes.
Born on August 25, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio, Thomas Stephen Cook was the son of Horace, a business executive, and Betty Cook,
a homemaker. He earned a bachelor's degree from Denison University in Ohio in 1969 and a master of fine arts from the University
of Iowa Writer’s Workshop in 1973. There he met Monique de Varennes, also a writer, whom he married in 1975. The couple had
two children, Katherine and Christopher.
Cook began his career in 1974 as a technical editor for engineering firm ITT. He earned his first screen credits on episodes
of Baretta, The Paper Chase and Project U.F.O. in the 1970s. Cook also wrote a number of episodes of the CBS series Airwolf
in 1984-85 and served as supervising producer on 15 episodes.
T. S. Cook was best known for co-writing the screenplay for 1979’s nuclear power thriller THE CHINA SYNDROME with Mike Gray
and James Bridges. They shared Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA screenplay nominations, as well as received a Writers
Guild Award for Original Drama – Screen.
A Writers Guild, West member since 1975, prolific writer Cook penned numerous Made-for-TV movies and television series over
four decades. His TV movie writing or co-writing credits include Red Flag: The Ultimate Game (1981), for which he received
a 1982 WGA nomination, Attack on Fear (1982), Out of the Darkness (1985), Nightbreaker (1989), for which Cook received a Writers
Guild Award, High Desert Kill (1989), In the Line of Duty: Street War (1992), The Switch (1992), Texas Justice (1994), The
Tuskegee Airmen (1995), for which he shared an Emmy nomination, Forgotten Sins (1995), a small-screen remake of Western classic
High Noon (2000), the Lucille Ball biopic Lucy (2003), The Hive (2007), and NYC: Tornado Warning (2008). Cook’s TV series
writing or co-writing credits include Airwolf, The Paper Chase, and Baretta.
An active Guild member and tenacious advocate for writers over the course of his career, Cook served on the WGAW’s Board of
Directors (1995-97), and was a strike captain during the WGA’s 1988 and 2007-08 strikes. He also served on several WGAW committees,
including Board Nominating (1991, 2008), Officers Nominating (1989, 2007), Election Review (2011-13), Committee on Professional
Status of Writers [CPSW – Television, 1997-2002), Publications (1981-86), Television Writers Council (1999-2002), Strike Fund
(1988), Strike Planning and Service (1989), Waiver (1995-2002), and Writers Image Campaign (1996-97). From 2006 through 2013,
Cook served as a Pension & Health Trustee, first as an alternate trustee from 2006-11, then as a principal P&H trustee until
his death. Cook also served on the Writers Guild Foundation’s Board of Directors for several terms (1998-2007), as well as
acted as Treasurer (2002-06) and chair of the WGF’s Oral History Committee.
In recent years, Cook turned his energies to play writing. He was a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, a co-founder of Fierce
Backbone Theatre Company, and a board member of the latter from 2007 until the onset of his illness. Among a number of productions,
his play “Ravensridge” had its world premiere at the Fremont Centre Theatre in 2007.
Cook passed away at age 65 on January 5, 2013 at his home in Hollywood after a battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife,
Monique de Varennes, his children, Kate and Chris; his mother, Betty; and his brothers, Jim and Bill. He was posthumously
named the 2014 WGA Morgan Cox Award honoree in recognition of his Guild service.
Adapted from a December 11, 2013 WGAw press release at http://www.wga.org/content/default.aspx?id=5365