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.
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