Playwright and screenwriter
This article was updated on Tuesday, Dec. 28.Playwright-screenwriter John Monks Jr. died Dec. 10 of natural causes in Pacific Palisades. He was 94. In 1936, Monks and co-author Fred F. Finklehoffe’s first playwriting effort, “Brother Rat,” opened on Broadway at the Bilt-more Theater, starring Eddie Albert and Jose Ferrer. A comedy set among cadets at Virginia Military Institute, “Rat” ran for 575 performances (breaking house records) and spawned two U.S. road companies. Monks left New York to write movies for Hollywood. His first, also co-authored with Finklehoffe, was “Strike Up the Band,” which starred Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. Monks and Finklehoffe also penned pics “Brother Rat and a Baby.” Monks also scripted “House on 92nd Street,” “13 Rue Madeleine,” “The West Point Story” featuring James Cagney, “Knock on Any Door” with Humphrey Bogart,” “Where’s Charley?” with Ray Bolger, “People Against O’Hara” with Spencer Tracy and “So This Is Love” with Kathryn Grayson. He adapted the hit play “Where’s Charley” for the bigscreen and wrote, produced and directed “No Man Is An Island” featuring Jeffrey Hunter. While an officer with the Third Marine Regiment in WWII, he wrote and directed feature docu “We Are the Marines” for March of Time Prods. He also wrote a book, “A Ribbon and a Star,” based on his Marine experiences. Born in Pleasantville, N.Y., Monks was a lifelong member of the Players Club in New York. He was a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. He is survived by a daughter and three grandchildren. A memorial service will be held Jan. 15. Call (310) 472-6466 for details.