Carol Sobieski; Honored for Movie, TV Writing


Carol Sobieski, a film and television scenarist whose sensitive treatment of real and imagined characters won several awards from her peers in the Writers Guild of America, died Sunday at her Santa Monica home of amyloidosis, a rare blood disease.

The screenwriter for such movies as "Annie," "Casey's Shadow," "Sylvester" and "Winter People" was 51.

She was named winner of the Writers Guild of America Award for her TV scripts for "Sunshine" and "Christmas Sunshine," while her "Plain Speaking" one-man show based on the conversations of Harry S. Truman won Emmy nominations for best script and best program and an acting Emmy for Ed Flanders.

Raised in Amarillo, Tex., she graduated with honors from Smith College and earned a master's degree from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

Her uncle, screenwriter James Webb, encouraged her to move to Los Angeles where she began writing for such TV series as "Mister Novak" and "Peyton Place."

She went on to win other Writers Guild honors for the TV movie "Amelia Earhart" and the miniseries "The Bourne Identity," drawing on her skills as a pilot for the former and, in the latter, defying conventional industry wisdom that women can't write terrorist thrillers.

She served as a trustee of the Writers Guild Foundation, was on the guild's Board of Directors and was a member of the Council of Advisers of the School of Cinema-Television at USC.

Her final TV film is "Sarah, Plain & Tall," co-written with Patricia Maclachlan. It is a Hallmark Hall of Fame production scheduled for broadcast in February.

Ray Stark, producer of several of her pictures, remembered Miss Sobieski as "street smart . . . knowledgeable, elegant and dedicated. . . ."

Survivors include her husband James, daughters Emmy and Mona and a son, Jamie. A sister, Mrs. Stanley Marsh of Amarillo, also survives. The family asks contributions to the California Special Olympics in Santa Monica or the Carol Sobieski Scholarship Fund, Amarillo College Foundation, P.O. Box 447, Amarillo 79178.

A funeral service will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades.

"Carol will be in her usual blue jeans," said her husband.

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