The prolific novelist, playwright, and essayist passed away at his Hollywood Hills home on Tuesday evening. According to his nephew, complications from pneumonia was the cause of death.
Gore Vidal made Los Angeles home in 2003, but his history with Hollywood is a long one. In 1948, the uproar over his homosexual coming-of-age novel The City and the Pillar saw Vidal blacklisted by the literary world. For years Vidal was unable to get his work reviewed by critics, and to earn a living he began writing for film, television, and the stage.
The entertainment industry embraced what the literati had rejected, and Vidal enjoyed steady work. Two of his plays, “Visit to a Small Planet” — itself adapted from one of Vidal’s TV scripts — and “The Best Man,” enjoyed success on Broadway before being turned into films. His many screenwriting credits include Suddenly Last Summer with his friend Tennessee Williams, the sexually explicit commercial flop Caligula, and an uncredited stint as script doctor to Ben Hur.