Phyllis White, longtime writer of TV shows, books and articles and former Writers Guild of America vice president, died July 7 of a stroke at her home in Venice, Calif. She was 79.
A 1943 graduate from the U. of Minnesota, the Emmy-nommed former Phyllis Margaret Kremer began her career as a script writer for WBBM Chicago. She went on to be head writer for a while of “The Tonight Show” in 1957 in New York and for the Peabody-winning documentary series “Adventure” 1952-1956.
Her first husband, writer Shelby Gordon, died in 1960. Later that year she married writer Robert White. The White pair collaborated on a number of TV series during the 1960s and 1970s including “The Bold Ones,” “Cannon,” “The Flying Nun,” “Mission Impossible,” “My Favorite Martian,” “Rome 222,” “The Virginian” and many others.
During one five-year period, White wrote for several soaps (“Love of Life,” “Search for Tomorrow,” “As the World Turns”) and her work on “Guiding Light” led to an Emmy nomination in 1978. She also won WGA awards for outstanding scripts in 1979 and 1984.
Her only film was “Hot Mikado,” written while she lived in London working on British TV shows and pics.
Most recently, White penned articles for newspapers and magazines, primarily focused on travel. She and her husband co-authored 1998 travel book “Romantic Weekends in San Francisco.” Their book “Hollywood Alive!” was slated to be published in July.
White had an active career with the WGA, serving on the board of directors from 1974 to 1977 and vice president 1977-1979; she was part of the negotiating committee involved in the 1981 writers strike. During her decades with WGA, she was active in dozens of major committees, including bargaining. Before that, she co-founded the Television Writers of America in 1950 and served on its board for three years, until it merged into the WGA.
Survivors include her husband, daughter and son.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.