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Dorothy Kingsley; Prolific Screenwriter

September 30, 1997|MYRNA OLIVER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dorothy Kingsley, a screenwriter whose credits include "Kiss Me Kate," "Pal Joey," "Can-Can" and the original and remade versions of "Angels in the Outfield," has died. She was 87.

Kingsley, the widow of seafood company and winery founder William Durney, died Friday in Carmel of heart failure.

Durney, creator of Sea Fair Corp., and Kingsley founded the Durney Vineyard in 1968, the first winery in the Carmel Valley.

Born Oct. 14, 1909, to silent screen star Alma Hanlon and Broadway writer and publicist Walter Kingsley, the writer began her career penning gags for the "Bob Hope Radio Show" and then moved to the "Edgar Bergen Radio Show," where she got her first credit.

Signed to a screenwriting contract by MGM, Kingsley wrote many scripts for swimming star Esther Williams, beginning with "Bathing Beauty." Kingsley also wrote a number of pictures for actress and singer Jane Powell, including "A Date With Judy" and "Two Weeks With Love," which made Debbie Reynolds a star.

Kingsley collaborated on or wrote scripts for several musical films, among them "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."

She wrote "Angels in the Outfield," a comedy providing divine intervention for the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates in 1951. When the film was remade in 1994, offering angelic assistance to the California Angels, Kingsley was again a credited screenwriter.

In the late 1960s, Kingsley created the television series "Bracken's World," about a Hollywood movie studio.

Kingsley is survived by four children, Michael Durney and Christine Durney Armanasco of Carmel, Terry Kingsley-Smith of Los Angeles and Carmel and Susan Durney Mickelson of Lake Oswego, Ore. She had nine grandchildren. Two sons, Dennis and Steven Durney, preceded her in death.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. today in the Carmel Mission.

The family has asked that memorial contributions be made to the Monterey County Symphony, Box 3956, Carmel, CA 93923.

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