Best selling author Ira Levin dead

New York 12 Nov'07: Best selling writer Ira Levin, whose genre hopping novels such as the horror classic Rosemary's Baby and the Nazi thriller The Boys from Brazil provided meaty movie roles for Mia Farrow and Laurence Olivier, has died of a heart attack.

The Levin, 78, who also wrote for television and Broadway, passed away in his Manhattan apartment on Monday.

Long before authors like Stephen King routinely had their books turned into movies, Levin watched his novels move to the big screen. Besides Rosemary's Baby with Farrow and The Boys From Brazil with Olivier, Levin's novels The Stepford Wives, Sliver and A Kiss Before Dying all received the Hollywood treatment. His long running 1978 play Deathtrap was also made into a Sidney Lumet-directed film.

Levin's page turning books were once compared by Newsweek writer Peter S. Frescott to a bag of popcorn: "Utterly without nutritive value and probably fattening, yet there's no way to stop once you've started."

Levin's worked as a television writer before finishing his first novel, A Kiss Before Dying. His debut won the Edgar Allan Poe Award as the best first novel of 1953.

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