Monday, July 20, 2009

Judi Ann Mason

As a young college student in 1975, Mason entered her play "Livin'Fat" in the American College Theatre Festival; she won $2500 and Norman Lear's attention. Two years later, she was in Hollywood writing scripts for Lear's sitcom Good Times. The majority of her influence was felt in television; she wrote for Sanford and Beverly Hills 90210, and served on the creative staff of A Different World and I'll Fly Away. She helped develop the landmark NBC daytime drama Generations, the first (and to date, only) soap to premiere with a black family at its core. She served as its associate head writer throughout its short run. Later, she co-wrote the feature Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. She wrote several dozen stage plays, and inspired an entire generation of female writers of color.

Judi Ann Mason died unexpectedly July 8 from a ruptured aorta. She was 54.