The moviemaker, full name Thomas Steven Cook, lost his battle with cancer in Los Angeles on Saturday (05Jan13).
Cook wrote scripts for several television movies during his career, but he is most famous for 1979 film The China Syndrome, which starred Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas.
The thriller earned Cook Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Screenplay, and he was honoured with a Writers Guild of America Award for the movie. Cook won a second WGA prize for 1989's Nightbreaker.
In more recent years, Cook worked on The Hive and NYC: Tornado Terror, which both aired on U.S. network Syfy in 2008.