Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Erich Segal, 72, Dies of Heart Attack

"Love means never having to say you're sorry" is probably the most famous line Erich Segal ever wrote. I won't go on to give my opinion on the truth or lack thereof of that statement, but either way, it skyrocketed Segal's popularity. And that's how most people will remember the beloved Love Story author and screenwriter who died Sunday, January 17, 2010.

Erich Segal, best known as the author of Love Story, died on Sunday of a heart attack, his friend Ned Temko said today. He was 72.

Segal wrote the bestselling book about love and bereavement, which became a chart-topping film, in 1969 when he was 32 and a classics professor at Harvard. As its most famous line, "love means never having to say you're sorry", entered popular culture, Segal became a celebrity and regular on TV shows, as well as a commentator on the Olympic games for the ABC network.

However, he continued to write right up to his death, producing more than half a dozen novels, essays, literary criticism and, with his dear friend and comrade-in-comedy, Jack Rosenthal, a new English translation of the opening Friday-night Hebrew prayer for the West London Reform Synagogue. His last major work, in 2001, was a scholarly look at the history of comedy, and of dirty jokes, from the ancient Greeks through to Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove.

Read the rest of the article HERE

I haven't read Love Story myself. In fact, I hadn't even known it was a book before it was a film (which I also haven't seen but is in my Netflix queue). But Segal has written many screenplays--including the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine"--that I have seen. He was a brilliant scholar and talented writer, with profound vision and an extraordinary life story (check out his impressive obituary HERE).

My thoughts are with Segal's family and friends at this difficult time. RIP Erich Segal.

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