The Only Woman in the Room

Episodes in My Life and Career as a Television Writer

Book Description

Rita Lakin was a pioneer – a female scriptwriter in the early 1960s when Hollywood television was exclusively male. For years, in creative meetings she was literally “the only woman in the room.” In this breezy but heartfelt remembrance, Lakin takes readers to a long-forgotten time when women were not considered worthy or welcome at the creative table. Widowed with three young children, she talked herself into a secretarial job at Universal Studios in 1962, despite being unable to type or take dictation. With guts, skill, and humor, she rose from secretary to freelancer, to staff writer, to producer, to executive producer and showrunner, meeting hundreds of famous and infamous show biz legends along the way during her long and unexpected career. She introduced many women into the business and was a feminist before she even knew she was one. The general public did not know her name, but Lakin touched the lives of millions of viewers week after week, year after year.

The relevance of her personal journey – charming yet occasionally shocking – will be an eye-opener to present-day who take for granted the abundance of female creative talent in today's Hollywood.

About Lakin, Rita

Rita Lakin (Marin County, CA) is an Emmy-nominated screenwriter, television producer, and published author of seven mystery novels (the Getting Old Is Murder series'), 'two produced plays (No Language But a Cry and Saturday Night at Grossingers'), 'and several short stories. She was among the first women to create, write, and produce for television, helping to establish the role of TV “showrunner” in the 1970s. Lakin is the recipient of both the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the prestigious Avery Hopwood Award.