Tuesday, October 20, 2020

GORE VIDAL DEAD AT 86

July 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Gore Vidal, the firebrand novelist, essayist, historian, screenwriter, and politician, has died in Los Angeles at age 86. Death was attributed to complications from pneumonia. As a novelist, Vidal was perhaps best known for his 1968 parody on Hollywood Myra Breckinridge, which became a movie starring Raquel Welch in 1970. He was a prolific writer of television dramas in TV’s golden age, when writers had to take into account the fact that every scene had to be performed live — a particularly daunting challenge that Vidal faced in his first teleplay, an adaptation of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde in 1954 for the CBS anthology series Climax! A Democrat who traced his political lineage to Aaron Burr, who became the subject of a historical novel that Vidal wrote in 1973, he frequently clashed with members of his own party (he ran against incumbent California Governor Jerry Brown for the Democratic nomination in 1983) and his 1968 debates with conservative icon William F. Buckley are legendary. (Vidal: “The only pro or crypto-Nazi here is yourself.” Buckley: “Now listen, you queer, you stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in the goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered.”