The late screenwriter Thomas S. Cook, who passed away in January aged 65, will be honored with the Morgan Cox Award for Guild service at the Writers’ Guild Awards in February, it was announced today. Cook was best known for co-writing the 1979 issue thriller “The China Syndrome,” for which he shared in an Oscar nomination and a WGA Award. (He and his co-writers lost the former to Steve Tesich for “Breaking Away.”)
It would be his only big-screen credit. Cook subsequently worked extensively in television, collaborating on such projects as a 2000 remake of “High Noon,” and 1995’s Laurence Fishburne-starring “The Tuskegee Airmen,” a fact-based tale of American-American WWII pilots for which he earned an Emmy nomination. His last credit was the 2008 TV disaster movie “NYC: Tornado Terror.”
A longstanding Guild member, Cook was a strike captain during two WGA strikes, most recently that of 2007-8, and served on the Board of Directors from 1995 to 1997.
WGA West president Christopher Kaiser explains his contribution to the Guild: “Tom was a beloved member of this Guild, renowned both for the remarkable work he produced and for his unending commitment to give something of himself back. His service touched on every corner of our mission and lasted over three wonderful decades. Even in his final days, as a Trustee of our Health and Pension Fund, he never forgot the needs of his fellow writers, and we, in turn, will never forget him.”
The WGA Awards will take place on February 1, 2014, with simultaneous ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles.