Screenwriter and Broadway Playwright James Prideaux Passes Away at 88

Screenwriter and Broadway Playwright James Prideaux Passes Away at 88

BroadwayWorld is saddened to report that screenwriter, playwright and producer James Prideaux has died after suffering a stroke. He was 88.

Prideaux, frequent collaborator and friend of Katharine Hepburn, wrote and produced three films with the iconic actress in the lead: 1986's MRS. DELAFIELD WANTS TO MARRY, 1988's LAURA LANSING SLEPT HERE, and 1992's THE MAN UPSTAIRS. 'MRS. DELAFIELD' earned the producer an Emmy nod.

He offered Hepburn the lead in his play THE LAST OF MRS. LINCOLN in the late '60s, but Julie Harris ended up taking on the role and winning a Tony Award for her portrayal of Mary Todd Lincoln. The play nabbed Prideaux the 1973 Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Playwright. Harris also reprised her role in the TV adaptation of the work and later took the stage in Prideaux's MIXED COUPLES on Broadway in 1980.

Among Prideaux's other works are the 1978 TV movie RETURN ENGAGEMENT with Elizabeth Taylor, and LYNDON, a one-man play about President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Before his big break, the writer was a member of off-off-Broadway's Playwrights Unit, which debuted his first play POSTCARDS -- that in an amazing turn of events transferred off-Broadway and eventually to Broadway.

Pictured: Katharine Hepburn and James Prideaux on the Vancouver set of MRS. DELAFIELD WANTS TO MARRY. Image via The Great Katharine Hepburn blog.