One of Hollywood's mysteries was solved on July 8, 1998 when the body of screenwriter Gary DeVore was discovered at the bottom of the California Aqueduct in the Antelope Valley near Palmdale, CA. DeVo...
Wrote the screenplay for the Arnold Schwarzenegger action film "Raw Deal"
Body was discovered after a year at the bottom of the California Aqueduct, where his car landed after apparently running off the road
Disappeared while driving from Santa Fe, New Mexico to his home in Santa Barbara County, California
Wrote "The Dogs of War", an adventure film starring Christopher Walken and Tom Berenger
Scripted the comedy action film "Running Scared"
Wrote and produced the comedy adventure film "Traxx"
Executive produced and scripted "The Heat", aired as a "CBS Summer Playhouse Special"
Was set to write and direct a remake of the 1949 Robert Mitchum action film "The Big Steal"
Scripted the romantic comedy "Back Roads" starring Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones
Was executive producer and screenwriter of the ABC TV-movie "Heart of Steel", starring Peter Strauss.
Declared bankruptcy after the Internal Revenue Service hit him for back taxes on a residence purchased during his marriage to Maria Cole; later sued Cole family but case was dismissed
One of Hollywood's mysteries was solved on July 8, 1998 when the body of screenwriter Gary DeVore was discovered at the bottom of the California Aqueduct in the Antelope Valley near Palmdale, CA. DeVore, who had penned hit films such as "Raw Deal" and "Running Scared" (both 1986) had been missing since June 28, 1997 when he last spoke to his wife from his car phone while driving from Santa Fe, NM to their home in Carpenteria, CA. His body was discovered through the efforts of an amateur detective from San Diego who read about the disappearance and noted the similarities between it and the disappearance of a woman who was later found to have run off the road into the California Aqueduct. While DeVore was missing, many theories about his whereabouts emerged, including ideas that he had been carjacked for his fully equipped late model Ford Explorer or even that he was on a secret CIA mission. The screenwriter was visiting friend Marsha Mason's Santa Fe ranch before his disappearance, where he was working on the script for a remake of 1949's "The Big Steal", which was to have marked his feature directorial debut.
DeVore's first big screenwriting credit was for the "The Dogs of War" (1980), starring Tom Berenger and Christopher Walken. Many of his screenplays were action based, including the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle "Raw Deal" and 1995's "Pentathalon". Mixing action and comedy, he had a hit with "Running Scared", which teamed Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines. The formula was less successful for "Traxx" (1988), starring one-time girlfriend Priscilla Barnes. DeVore also wrote the screenplay for the romantic comedy "Back Roads" (1981), starring Sally Field and longtime friend Tommy Lee Jones. For the small screen, he penned the script for and served as executive producer of "Heart of Steel" (ABC, 1983), a vehicle for Peter Strauss, and "The Heat", the 1989 action adventure "CBS Summer Playhouse" special about a group of young crime fighters. DeVore had also finished the screenplay for "Solo" a spy thriller which Harold Becker was attached to direct.
first wife; divorced in 1976; widow of Nat King Cole
formerly married to Kurt Russell
married for 18 months at time of his disappearance
The man who solved his disappearance, an unemployed lawyer from San Diego named Douglas Crawford, read in a newspaper the details of DeVore's disappearance in a special one year anniversary article and noted the similarity to a case in which the missing person was found in the California Aqueduct. Crawford went to the Aqueduct and collected samples from the embankment of debris he believed to be from the same model car as DeVore was driving when he went missing. Crawford said he contacted police who were not responsive and then e-mailed DeVore's publicist Michael Sands who passed the information along to the Los Angeles County Sherrif's Department. They found DeVore's car in the aqueduct, with human remains inside. The death is believed to be the result of a traffic accident.
He was the best man at Tommy Lee Jones' wedding and was the godfather of Peter Strauss' son Justin.
"Gary would hate that this is what made him famous. He wouldn't want to be seen as a victim; he's not the victim type." --friend and producer Julia Phillips quoted in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, August 1, 1997