Cook, Judith (Anne) 1933-2004

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COOK, Judith (Anne) 1933-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born September 7, 1933, in Manchester, England; died May 12, 2004, in Newlyn, Cornwall, England. Journalist and author. Cook was a journalist known for her antinuclear stance, as well as for her crime novels, nonfiction, and biographies. Although she lacked a college degree, Cook found work early on as a secretary for the conductor of the Liverpool Halle Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli. She married her first of two husbands, and was hired as a writer for the Manchester (now London) Guardian in 1962, gaining attention after the Cuban Missile Crisis when she created an antinuclear organization called Voice of Women. When her marriage ended in divorce, Cook began freelancing for various newspapers, including the Guardian, winning the Margaret Rhondda Award for investigative reporting in 1980. Meanwhile, her interest in the theater led to her writing her first two books, Directors Theatre (1974) and The National Theatre (1975). She would also later write books on Shakespearean theater, including Women in Shakespeare (1980; 2nd edition, 1985) and Shakespeare's Players (1983; 2nd edition, 1985). Cook's antinuclear stance also led to a book on this subject, Red Alert (1986). Journalism remained part of her life for a time, too, and she was features editor for the Birmingham Post and was associated with Anglia Television; unfortunately, when she was injured in an auto accident she was forced to give up such work pursuits. She continued writing, however, and became a noted biographer, penning such works as Daphne du Maurier (1991), Priestley (1997), and Dr. Simon Forman: A Most Notorious Physician (2001), as well as mystery novels such as The Waste Remains (1984). Her journalist's nose for controversy led to investigative works, including Who Killed Hilda Murrell? (1985) and Unlawful Killing (1994). During her last years, Cook remained active in theater as an artist in residence at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth and as a lecturer in Elizabethan and Jacobean theater at Exeter University. Her final books were the nonfiction Pirate Queen (2004) and the novel Keeper's Gold (2004).



Guardian (London, England), May 15, 2004, p. 27.

Independent (London, England), May 31, 2004, p. 30.

Times (London, England), June 2, 2004, p. 32.