Laird Koenig

Date of Birth

September 24, 1927

Date of Death

June 30, 2023

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Long time Santa Barbara resident and successful American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter Laird Philip Koenig peacefully passed away in his sleep on June 30th2023. Laird was born on September 24, 1927 in Seattle, Washington to Betty and Rowland Koenig. Laird Koenig attended the University of Washington and worked in advertising in New York City. In the 1960’s Laird moved to Los Angeles where he began his successful literary career. Laird works included 8 published novels, six plays which were produced on Broadway and Off Broadway, and fourteen movie credits with dozens of luminary actors and stars as organ Freeman, Laurence Olivier, Audrey Hepburn, James Mason, Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Charles Bronson and Toshiro Mifune to name just a few. Laird’s novels, plays, and screenplays also had great success in England, Germany and France. Beginning in the 1970s, his literary works and passion for travel allowed him to travel around the world. In 1996, Laird settled in Santa Barbara in where he remained until his passing.

Koenig’s early novels include The Children Are Watching (co-written with Peter L. Dixon, 1970) and The Little Girl Who Lives down the Lane (1974). In 1976, Koenig adapted his novel The Little Girl Who Lives down the Lane into a film. Directed by Nicolas Gessner and starring Jodie Foster and Martin Sheen, the film would earn Koenig a Saturn Award nomination for best screenplay. Attention Les Enfants Regardent, a French film adaption of The Children Are Watching, was awarded the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière in 1978. Based on a screenplay adapted from the novel by Laird Koenig and Peter Dixon, the film was directed by Serge Leroy and produced by Alain Delon, who also starred in the leading role as “The Man.” Other novels written by Koenig include The Neighbor (1978), Rockabye (1981), and Rising Sun (1986). Koenig wrote numerous episodes for the television series Flipper (1970) and High Chaparral (1970), as well as numerous screenplays including for films Red Sun, Bloodline, Inchon, and many others. His final self published work was Morning Sun: The Story of Madam Butterfly’s Boy.

Though now gone, Laird’s legacy lives on in his vast array of books, plays and films through which his point of view continues to enlighten the world. Laird is remembered as a kind and thoughtful man with tremendous creativity and warm concern for those around him and humanity. He will be sorely missed.


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