Novelist & Playwright Ira Levin Dies, 78

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Famed novelist and Broadway playwright Ira Levin suffered a fatal heart attack last night, Monday November 12, in his Manhattan apartment.  He was 78 years old.  Ira Levin was the best-selling author of horror classic "Rosemary's Baby," thriller "The Boys from Brazil" and satire "The Stepford Wives."

Born August 27, 1929, Levin became interested in writing at an early age and began working as a television writer before finishing his first novel, the acclaimed "A Kiss Before Dying." His debut won the Edgar Allan Poe Award as the best first novel of 1953.

In addition to Tony Award-nominated Deathtrap (1978), Levin penned eight other Broadway plays: No Time for Sergeants (1955), Interlock (1958), Critic's Choice (1960), General Seegar (1962), Dr. Cook's Garden (1967), Veronica's Room (1973) and Break a Leg (1979).  His musical Drat! The Cat! (1965) starred Lesley Ann Warren and Elliot Gould, and featured the song "He Touched Me," popularized by Barbra Streisand.

Many of Levin's books later became movies, including Rosemary's Baby starring Mia Farrow, The Boys from Brazil, The Stepford Wives and Sliver.

Funeral arrangements are pending. Twice divorced, he is survived by three sons, Jared, Adam, and Nicholas and three grandsons.

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