Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I went through an odd phase when I was about 15 or 16, which consisted of me reading every Ira Levin novel that I could get my hands on (I liked This one the bestest). Since then, I'd say I read at least one of his books a year and I enjoy them just as much now as I did all those many years ago. To say that I'm a fan would be a pretty fair assessment.

To say that I'm totally bummed out would also be a pretty fair assessment.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ira Levin, author of the best-selling horror and suspense novels "Rosemary's Baby," "The Stepford Wives" and "The Boys from Brazil," all later made into popular films, has died at age 78, according to media reports.

The New York Times reported that Levin died on Monday at his Manhattan home. It quoted his son Nicholas as saying the death was apparently of natural causes.

"Rosemary's Baby," about a woman who believes she has been impregnated by the devil, was published in 1967 and made into an Oscar-winning movie the following year starring Mia Farrow and directed by Roman Polanski.

Levin's 1972 novel "The Stepford Wives" involved husbands in a Connecticut town replacing their wives with submissive robots. It was twice adapted by Hollywood -- a 1975 film starring Katharine Ross, and a 2004 version with Nicole Kidman.

"The Boys From Brazil," published in 1976, featured the infamous Nazi doctor, Josef Mengele, seeking to clone a new Third Reich. The 1978 film version starred Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier. Levin's first novel, "A Kiss Before Dying," published in 1953, was twice made into movies.

Levin also wrote for the stage, including "No Time for Sergeants," starring a young Andy Griffith, and the long-running "Deathtrap." Both were later adapted to the screen.

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