Wednesday, January 20, 2010

R.I.P. Love Story author Erich Segal

by Nathan Rabin January 19, 2010

The Guardian is reporting that Erich Segal, a screenwriter and novelist best-known for penning both the film and book versions of Love Story, has died at the age of 73 of a heart attack. Segal was a 32-year-old professor when he wrote the iconic tale of the star-crossed romance between a wealthy jock and an eccentric, dying working-class girl. In a story that has become pop-culture lore, Segal originally wrote Love Story as a screenplay but when it didn't sell he took the advice of an executive and turned it into a novel. The novel became a best-seller and then a massively successful motion picture that gave the world, "Love means never having to say you're sorry".

By the time Love Story conquered the world in 1970, Segal had already established himself as a screenwriter with the screenplay for Yellow Submarine. After the success of Love Story, Segal continued to teach as well as write novels and screenplays, including a poorly-received sequel to Love Story entitled Oliver's Story that was turned into a film in 1978.

R.I.P. Robert Parker

by Keith Phipps January 19, 2010

Crime novelist Robert Parker has died in Massachusetts at the age of 77, the New York Times is reporting. Parker is best known for penning detective novels featuring the tough Boston sleuth Spenser (no first name needed), a widely accliamed 38-book series that stretched from 1973's The Godwulf Manuscript through last year's The Professional. The books became fodder for the '80s TV series Spenser: For Hire starring Robert Urich.

Before turning to novels, Parker combined his interest with hardboiled detective fiction with his academic career. His PhD thesis included material on Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and others. Parker was teaching at Northeastern University when the first Spenser book saw publication and continued in that position until 1979. More recent Parker creations include the Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall series. He also wrote westerns, non-fiction, and two novels featuring Chandler's Phillip Marlowe, one of them a completion of Chandler's unfinished Poodle Springs.

Asked by in 2000 if he had written a final Spenser adventure to be published after his death, Parker replied, "Oh no! That's not fair to the reader at all. Spenser will live forever, at least as long as people want to remember him, and me. And I don't want to work hard on a book that is not going to be published in my lifetime. I want the money now! And, of course, I want to see the book published."