William Hanley, a Broadway playwright and award-winning screenwriter who scripted a pioneering TV film that dealt with incest, died May 25 in Ridgefield, Conn. He was 80.
Hanley’s works include “Slow Dance on the Killing Ground” and “Mrs. Dally Has a Lover” and the teleplays “The Long Way Home” and “The Kennedys of Massachusetts.”
He won Emmys for the TV movies “The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank” and “Something About Amelia.”
“Amelia,” which first aired in 1984 on ABC, explored the largely taboo topic of parental sexual abuse. Ted Danson, then the star of hit sitcom “Cheers,” portrayed a doting, well-to-do father exposed as having had sexual relations with his teenage daughter. Glenn Close played the mother in the critically acclaimed, top-rated program, which also won Emmys for outstanding drama special and for young Roxanne Zal, who played the abused daughter.
In addition, Hanley wrote the screenplay for 1969 film “The Gypsy Moths,” as well as several novels.
Hanley is survived by two daughters, a sister and three granddaughters.