Catherine (Kate) Vianney Marciniak, 68, died on March 5, 2023. With her indomitable, gutsy spirit, she fought whatever cancer threw her way, until our warrior was ready to rest and died peacefully, joining her parents, Edward and Virginia Marciniak.

Born in Chicago and an avid reader from an early age, she had natural talents for drawing and music, melodiously playing a Liszt or Grieg piano concerto without much practice. Among her many gifts, she finally settled on writing and communications, earning her BA/MA at the University of Illinois.

Despite Midwest roots, Kate spent most of her adult life in Los Angeles working and teaching in the entertainment industry. Her expertise as a professional story analyst led to countless projects for multiple studios, including Disney, HBO, CBS, Miramax, DreamWorks SKG, Showtime, Warner Brothers, William Morris/Endeavor, 20th Century Fox, and Amazon Studios. She produced programming for NPR and C-SPAN, and was the co-director of the Downtown LA Film Festival (2004-2013) and the first Silver Lake Film Festival. Later she taught as adjunct faculty at UCLA. She passed down her passion for her chosen field to prospective students, saying, “Screenwriting is both an art and a craft. It entails letting your own original voice come out to create a compelling story and memorable characters. It also entails following some rules that seem blatant to story analysts but that are missed by most screenwriters. I love artistry that is given form through structure.”

She leaves behind many wonderful friends and her family, including sisters Christina (Michael Brown) and Claudia (Steven Puiszis), both of Oak Park, and Francesca (John) Edwardson; nieces and nephews Meagan, Catherine (Daniel Brodzik), and Lizzie Brown; Steve, Claire, and Michael Puiszis; and Jack (Katie) and Brendan Maher; grandniece/nephew Hailey Brodzik and Gary Maher and her many Marciniak/Barta/Volini relatives.

Donations may be made in her memory to the Theater, Film, Television student scholarship fund at UCLA, or to the USC Norris Cancer Center Community Outreach & Engagement fund at The personalized note section should indicate: “For USC Norris Community Outreach & Engagement Fund (GF1017958)”.

A celebration of her life will be held in Oak Park, April 15, at Trattoria 225, located at 225 Harrison. The celebration service begins 11:15 a.m., followed by fellowship and food. A celebration is also planned in Los Angeles on April 22.

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