The Only Woman in the Room

Episodes in My Life and Career as a Television Writer

Series: Applause Books
Publisher: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books
Format: Hardcover
Author: Rita Lakin

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.

$29.99 (US)
Inventory #HL 00143141
ISBN: 9781495014055
UPC: 888680052980
Width: 6.0"
Length: 9.0"
304 pages


“Every woman in the entertainment business should read this book as an example of courage, fortitude, and self-confidence. It's a survival manifesto. And every man in the entertainment business should read this book as a cautionary tale of arrogance, conceit, and privilege.” – Steven Bochco, creator-writer-producer of Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, and recently, Murder in the First


“At turns hilarious, tender, and tough, this is the fabulous memoir of a woman who forged her own path to the writers' room in an industry dominated by men.” – Foreword Reviews

The Only Woman in the Room chronicles [Rita Latkin's] journey from heartbroken widow and aspiring writer to trailblazing TV show producer, writer, creator, and showrunner (a job she helped define along the way). Through stormy relationships, institutionalized sexism, and a monstrously competitive market, she created worthwhile, thoughtful hours of television that stand the test of time. Everyone could learn something from Latkin's brutally honest look at her life, her triumphs, and her struggles....The Only Woman in the Room is arguably more relevant now than ever. I hope many aspiring TV writers take a page from Lakin's book.” – Manhattan Book Review

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