Wednesday, January 20, 2010

’Love Story’ Author Erich Segal dies at 72

Segal died of a heart attack but had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for a long time. We don't remember it now but in its time, Love Story had quite an influence on the culture:
Segal was a Yale classics professor and screenplay writer when he turned a proposed movie about two college students — preppy Oliver and smart-mouthed Jenny — into a novel. Published in 1970, “Love Story” was a weeper about a young couple who fall in love, marry and discover she is dying of cancer. It was a million seller guaranteed to make readers cry and critics scream.

A much bigger audience caught up with the film version, which starred Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw. Directed by Arthur Hiller, with a plaintive, Henry Mancini-composed theme song that wouldn't quit, “Love Story” gained seven Oscar nominations — including one for Segal for writing the screenplay, as well as for best picture, best director and best actor and actress. It won one Oscar, for best music.

I caught part of this not too terribly long ago on TCM, I think. Totally unwatchable now but of interest as a relic of the early 70s.

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