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Ira Levin dies

Feature by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AMERICAN author Ira Levin, whose novels include Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives, has died from a heart attack at the age of 78.

Levin, the son of a toymaker, was born in New York (the Bronx) on August 27, 1929 and began his career writing scripts for 1950s television shows.

His first novel, the murder mystery A Kiss Before Dying, was published in 1953 and went on to win the 1954 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. It has been filmed twice – first in 1956 with Robert Wagner and Joanne Woodward, and again in 1991 with Matt Dillon and Sean Young.

His second novel and probably his best known work, Rosemary’s Baby, was published 14 years later in 1967. A year later it was adapted for film by Roman Polanski and starred Mia Farrow as Rosemary.

Levin’s other works include The Boys from Brazil and Son of Rosemary’s Baby.

Twice divorced, Levin is survived by three sons and three grandchildren.