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James K. McDermott, Jr., 49, award-winning writer and director, died on January 1, 2013 after a long and courageous battle against malignant melanoma. Jim graduated from Yale in 1985 with a B.A. in Middle English. He moved to Chicago in 1986 to pursue his career as film-director and playwright. His play, repeat w/Madeline, played in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In 1999, he received a Jefferson Citation for "Outstanding New Work" for his play Warhawks and Lindberghs. His movie, Nightingale in a Music Box won the Jury Prize for Outstanding Screenplay at the Slamdance 2004 film festival. He received the Best Director prize for Nightingale at the 2005 Shriekfest film festival. McDermott also wrote under the name "Hurt McDermott". In 2012, he completed "Artifice, Ruse, and Erdnase," the story of the search for the true identity of S.W. Erdnase, published in hardback in April 2012. James Mcdermott is survived by his wife of 23 years, Mary McGrae McDermott, MD and their children Lucy, John, and David, his siblings Drew McDermott of New Haven, CT, John McDermott of Columbia, SC, and Marcia McDermott of Chicago, IL. Preceded in death by parents James Kenneth McDermott, Sr. and Lucy Lea McDermott (nee Hurt) and brother Philip (Irene) McDermott. Uncle, cousin, friend, and colleague of many. A memorial service will take place Friday, Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Michigan and Delaware, Chicago. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago 60611 www.fourthchurch.org. Arrangements by Cremation Society of Illinois, 773-281-5058 or www.cremation-society.com.


Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Jan. 3, 2013
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