It was on this date, March 25, 2000, American screenwriter and MSU professor Jim Cash died.
The seldom seen half of the successful screenwriting team responsible for such notable 1980s screen hits as Legal Eagles (1986) and Top Gun (1986), Cash had been under hospital treatment for an intestinal ailment when he died. He was 59 years old.
Born in Boyne City, Michigan (January 17, 1941), Cash was a three-time college dropout, but received a bachelor’s in English from Michigan State University (MSU) in 1970, followed by an master’s in Television and Radio in 1972, Cash went on to become a professor of writing and film history at MSU.
While a professor, Cash met a student while working at MSU, Jack Epps, Jr., who would later become his writing partner. Cash and Epps outlined their first stories together on a napkin in the MSU Union Grill.
Epps moved to Hollywood, while Cash stayed grounded in their native Michigan but still collaborated across country and co-wrote many 1980’s and 1990’s international box office blockbusters including Top Gun (1986)_, The Secret of My Success (1987)_ and Turner and Hooch (1989)_ and Anaconda (1997).