"Psychic Viewpoint" October 11th, 2012
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Esther was born in Daytona Beach, Florida, the only child of Leslie and Marjorie Glen Cox. The trio left Daytona when she was three months old, which set the pattern for a trend that would last the rest of her life. Esther attended Florida schools in Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, and Tampa. In California she went to school in Montebello and Whittier. She entered the seventh grade at Burbank Junior High in Houston, Texas and then the family moved back to Tampa where she enrolled at Hillsboro High School. She had attended tenth grade classes for only a week when her father walked off and left her and her mother, thus ending Esther's formal education. However, a lot had happened in that short period of time that would turn her toward an inevitable career as a writer and an artist.
At nineteen, she moved to Kansas City, Missouri and went to work in the publicity department of the famed Starlight Theater. Later, as a newly wed, she submitted her poetry to a national publisher. It was accepted and in their publication, The American Songbird, she was named America's Most Promising Young Poet.
Later she wrote and directed educational films for Centron Productions in Lawrence, Kansas. For the next few years, she wrote films for primary age classes, and for psychology departments in Ivy League colleges and universities. It was those Ivy League films that came to the attention of administrators at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she was invited to replace two PhD's on a grant program. She accepted, thus becoming one of the few people with a ninth grade education to take on a university post vacated by two PhD's.
While at the University, the Director of Tourism for the Arizona State Department, invited her to come there at the end of the grant, to write, produce and direct a promotional film on the State. Once she was available, she moved to Scottsdale, completed the film, remarried and settled in Sedona. While there, she worked for radio station KASL in Flagstaff, as continuity writer.
A call from Ron Miller, president of Disney Studios in LA, prompted her to make a trip to the West Coast to meet with him in regard to a screenplay she had written. While nothing came of the meeting, she knew she was where she belonged and soon after made the move to California. She had been in Los Angeles for little more than a week, when she stopped by CBS on a whim, to ask if they had an opening. When questioned about her skills, she drew a blank. She didn't think her background as executive producer of six Midwest cable television programs was impressive enough to mention, nor the fact she had written, produced and hosted two nationally syndicated television programs (Mystery House and Woman's World) while in Kansas City. She was offered a position in the CBS script department and began the following week.
It was at CBS she learned the discipline necessary to turn out professional screenplays, working on The Jefferson's, One Day at a Time, The George Burns 100th Birthday Party, and dozens of specials. She worked with Mary Tyler Moore, Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Mike Douglas, John Ritter and others who offered advice and counsel. Even though she enjoyed CBS, she couldn't refuse an offer made by MGM a few months later.
Even though she enjoyed CBS, she couldn't refuse an offer made by MGM a few months later. It was at that studio she moved from the backlot to the executive offices. The Vice President of MGM-TV asked her to remain as his executive assistant when he was promoted to a position in New York. She chose to stay in California. During her tenure, she worked in Comedy Development where she received screen credit for her participation in the Neil Simon TV production of The Goodbye Girl. At the same time, she freelanced as story analyst for iconic producer Hal Wallis, and for Dick Clark, who bought her first feature film script. At MGM, she became production coordinator on the hit TV series CHiPs, where she stayed until the long-running show was canceled. She was involved in such productions as Buffalo Soldiers; Main Event; Winter Kills; Lobo, the Wolf Boy; Little House on the Prairie; LA Confidential and dozens of other film and television productions.
Over the next few years, she wrote and produced children's audio programs while writing and directing the Hollywood Stunt Show for TV, and directing music videos.
When her son, Dean, an aspiring screenwriter, died, she invited her boss from CHiPs to cross the country with her, giving weekend screenwriting workshops. Later she would be joined by Anne Marie Gillen (executive producer, Fried Green Tomatoes), Mark Schulman (DreamWorks TV executive), Paul Rabwin (award-winning producer, The X Files), Randy Torno (VP Production, New Republic Studios), Paul Mason (Vice President Production, Viacom), and Jack Allen, television mini-series and movie-of-the-week executive. After ten years of producing workshops, she accepted an assignment that took her to Puerto Rico where she wrote a screenplay based on the life of a beloved attorney who was framed for murder and solved the case inside prison walls.
For more information about Esther, please visit her website at