Gore Vidal, noted writer across a bevy of mediums, has passed away at age 86, it was announced Tuesday evening by his family. Vidal's passing occurred at his Hollywood Hills home from complications with pneumonia. Vidal was loved by many and seen as a beacon of truth in an oft-muddled political and social landscape.
Throughout his career, Vidal was considered many things outside of his writerly pursuits--though they were often intertwined--including a leading political voice and gay activist. One of his most famous works, The City and the Pillar, is said to be one of the first mainstream American novels to feature overtly gay characters at its center. It was so controversial at the time that The New York Times refused to review it in 1948.
He also crafted himself quite a screenwriting career, where he wrote the screenplays for such movies Suddenly, Last Summer, Lincoln, Is Paris Burning, and Caligula, as well as contributed to the script of the Charlton Heston epic, Ben-Hur. His 1968 novel, Myra Breckenridge, wove a satire full of his passion for film (and Hollywood), as well as a fascination with same-sex relationships into an over-the-top yet groundbreaking work.
His play, The Best Man, is currently in revival on Broadway and features a stellar cast of James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, John Stamos, Kristin Davis, Cybill Shepherd, and John Larroquette. His writing was so poignant and strong that even 50 years after it was written, it still feels relevant to the current conversation.
[Image Credit: DailyCeleb]
Author Maeve Binchy Dead at 72
Nora Ephron, Writer and Director, Dies of Cancer
Ernest Borgnine Dies at 95
On Jan. 8, 2011, a gunman shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head during a meeting with constituents at a supermarket near Tuscon, Ariz. But just 19 months later, Giffords walked into a room with only the help of an aide to listen to husband Mark Kelly deliver an emotional speech on board the Crystal Serenity cruise ship Monday.
For about an hour, Kelly (who co-wrote Giffords' book Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope) delved into how he transitioned from a 17-year-old ambulance driver into a professional astronaut sent on four space missions for NASA.
But the most heart-wrenching part of his speech centered on the day Giffords was nearly assassinated. After hearing that his wife had been injured, Kelly immediately boarded a plane to Arizona with his children (with ex-wife Amelia Victoria Babis) to be by her side.
During his flight, media reports speculated that Giffords had not survived. When Kelly learned she was alive and in surgery, he cried — it was the first time, he recalled, his children saw him tear up. Despite all of the hardships Giffords and Kelly have endured over the past year and a half, they still remain a couple both caring and generous. At the end of Kelly's speech, they both took pictures with the nearly 250 guests who had come to hear Kelly speak. Giffords even kissed all of the guests on the cheek and thanked them for their continued support. More News on Hollywood.com: Scout Willis Has Been Sentences for Underage Drinking Maeve Binchy, Author of Circle of Friends, Dies Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Frank Ocean Storm the 2012 VMA Nominations
Maeve Binchy, the Irish writer whose most noteworthy contributions to literature include the novels Circle of Friends and Tara Road, has died at the age 72. The BBC reports that Binchy passed away on Monday following a short illness (that has yet to be identified to the public).
Binchy ranks as one of Ireland's most celebrated writers, having sold over 40 million books; her writing earned translations into a number of different languages. The author is responsible for great works like the novel Scarlet Feather and the short story The Lilac Bus. Her aforementioned book Tara Road was even honored by Oprah Winfrey's Book Club in 2009.
In addition to achieving notoriety as a novelist and short story writer, Binchy also worked as a teacher and a journalist.
"There are lots of things I wish I had done more of — studied harder, read more and been nicer and all those things — but I don’t have any regrets about any roads I didn’t take," the writer once told The Irish Times. "Everything went well and I think that’s been a help because I can look back, and I do get great pleasure out of looking back."
Binchy is survived by her husband, fellow writer Gordon Snell.
[Photo Credit: Geoff Wilkinson/Rex Features via AP Images]
Saved by the Bell Star Elizabeth Berkley Gives Birth
Bill Hader, SNL Star, Welcomes Baby Number 2
RHOBH Star Adrienne Maloof's Husband Files for Separation
Irish author Maeve Binchy has died, aged 72.
The best-selling novelist's beloved books, which have been translated into almost 40 languages, include Circle of Friends and Tara Road. Both have been adapted for the big screen.
A former teacher, Binchy became a journalist at the The Irish Times before she gained international literary fame as an author in her 40s.
In 2000, she came third in the World Book Day poll of favourite authors - ahead of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.
Fellow author Anne Rice was one of the first to pay tribute to Binchy on Monday afternoon (30Jul12), tweeting, "Maeve Binchy has died. We've lost another beloved writer. So sorry to hear it."