Robert W. Lenski

Three-time Emmy-nominated scribe

Robert W. Lenski, a three-time Emmy-nominated scribe, died June 19 of cancer at his Los Angeles home. He was 76.

Lenski’s series television work included scripts for “Mannix,” “Barnaby Jones,” “Kojak,” “Cannon,” “Streets of San Francisco,” “FBI,” “Planet of the Apes” and “The New Perry Mason.”

He earned Emmy noms for his first miniseries “The Dain Curse” starring James Coburn, Jason Miller and Jean Simmons, and the Hallmark Hall of Fame telepics “Decoration Day” and “Breathing Lessons,” both toplining James Garner. “Dain” also garnered Lenski an Edgar Allan Poe Award.

Other TV movie and miniseries credits included “The Black Dahlia,” “The Great Brinks Robbery,” “Chiefs,” “O Pioneers!,” “A Season in Purgatory” and “What the Deaf Man Heard.”

His final script was an adaptation of the James Agee novel “A Death in the Family.” Directed by Gil Cates and starring Annabeth Gish, it aired in March on PBS’ “Exxon/Mobil Masterpiece Theater.”

Prior to screenwriting, Lenski worked in journalism and advertising. He received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for coverage of the Southern Michigan prison riot where he was inside the prison walls for three days and nights. Lenski also served as VP/creative director for McCann-Erickson ad agency in LA.

Survivors include wife Leah and a brother.

Services will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday July 20 at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary.

Family suggests donations to: Friends of Animal’s Foundation, P.O. Box 341230, Los Angeles, CA 90034, 310-479-5089.

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