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Eliot "E.J." Safirstein

August 23, 2001 | 8:00 pm

Eliot "E.J." Safirstein

Eliot "E.J." Safirstein, an award-winning playwright, died July 31 at the age of 39.

A childhood survivor of cancer, Safirstein wrote the 1988 John Cauble Award-winning short play "Waterworks," which was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. His first television script, a "Family Law" episode titled "Generations," was broadcast on Dec. 11, 2000.

"E.J. was a purist," said Liz Safirstein Leshin, who married Safirstein in July. "He never lowered his standards, and he never gave up."

A funeral was held Aug. 5 in White Plains, N.Y. A memorial service for Safirstein will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16, at Leo Baeck Temple, 1300 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles.

Safirstein is survived by his wife, Liz Safirstein Leshin; son, Jack (Sue); sister, Julie Massey; and nephews, Scott and David Massey.

Donations may be sent to the E.J. Safirstein Fund at Vassar College, Box 14, 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12604-0014; the Pediatric Department at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Office of Susan Hershowitz, Box 139, 1275 York Ave., New York, N.Y. 10021; or the E.J. Safirstein New Play Fund at the University of Washington School of Drama, Box 35390, Seattle, WA 98195.

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