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'Psycho' Screenwriter Dead at 84

By:
Aug 31, 2006 | 4:43am EDT

The man who penned the screenplay for cult thriller Psycho has died at 84.

Joseph Stefano, who was a close friend of Psycho director Alfred Hitchcock, was also the co-creator of science-fiction TV series The Outer Limits.

The Philadelphia native was also a talented pianist and lyricist, who began his career touring in a modern jazz band.

His big break as a screenwriter came in the mid-1950s when he penned The Black Orchid, which became a hit film in 1958 starring Anthony Quinn and Sophia Loren.

He moved to Hollywood in 1960 and started work with Hitchcock on an adaptation of a Robert Bloch novel for the big screen. The project became Psycho.

Stefano's other celebrated screenplays have included Eye of the Cat, Home for the Holidays and Hitchcock's The Birds.

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