James Henaghan

Dec 1911 - Apr 1984

James Henaghan was a long time friend and confidante of Robert Walker. "Jim" was at one time married to actress/dancer Gwen Verdon.

The following information is taken from his obituary notices in the "Hollywood Reporter" and "Variety " April 4, 1984

Jim Henaghan, 72, journalist, screenwriter, novelist and columnist, died of emphysema April 1 at his home in Century City, Calif.

Henaghan, who worked for every major paper in Los Angeles, served as The Hollywood Reporter's Rambling Reporter in the early '50's. Always candidly outspoken and never one to cater to the industry's sacred cows, he wrote an article concerning Preston Sturges' escapades with a nurse while confined in a local hospital. Sturges, far from angry at the humorous reportage, called Charles Feldman and convinced him Henaghan's talents could be better put to use as a screenwriter.

In a last colum (in 1951) he signed off ... "As ever, throughout the years, we have enjoyed our chore... And if we have broken you up with your wife, gotten you fired, ruined your deals with our big mouth, had you investigated, or otherwise brought you tears, remember - it was all in fun."

He worked as rewrite man at Paramount working on property owned by the studio, and was responsible for rewrites of what were to become "Sunset Boulevard" and "North to Alaska." It was said of him..."he could take 'Stagecoach,' put it on shipboard, and make it a good screeplay."

Henaghan served as executive vp of John Wayne's Batjac Prod. for seven years. From 1960-76, he lived and worked writing feature articles on film and film personalities in Europe. Henaghan wrote five novels in the Jeff Pride series, published by Bantam Books and St. Martin's Press.

He is survived by hs wife Frances, daughter Patricia Coble and sons Michael and James Jr. Sevices will be private.

-David Janda, Hollywood Reporter, April 4, 1984


Variety, April 4, 1984

Jim Henaghan, 72, veteran Hollywood newspaperman, screenwriter and novelist, died April 1 of emphysema and pneumonia at his Los Angeles home.

Henaghan began his writing career as a crime reporter for the Hearst papers in Los Angeles. He later worked briefly for Daily Variety and subsequently joined The Hollywood Reporter, where he wrote the Rambling Reporter column.

Henaghan was hired by producer-agent Charles Feldman to develop motion picture ideas, then worked at major studios, particularly Paramount, in the story departments as a writer.

For several years in the late 1950's he worked as an executive at John Wayne's Batjac Prods.

Since 1960, Henaghan had lived mainly in Europe, where he co-wrote such pictures as "Sweet and Low," "Stop Train 349," and "The Boy and The Ball And The Hole In The Wall," as well as some Italian westerns. He wrote frequently about showbusiness personalities for numerous publications, notably Redbook, and authored five mystery novels featuring the leading character Jeff Pride:"The Da Vinci Rose," "The Ginsberg Circle," "High Bid for Murder," "The Duplicate Stiff," and "Azor."

Formerly married to actress-dancer Gwen Verdon, he is survived by his widow Frances, daughter Patricia Coble, sons Michael and James Jr., and five grandchildren.

Private services will be held at Forest Lawn, Glendale.


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