Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gore Vidal; Author and Pundit Dealt with Strong Themes and Spent Time Both Off-Camera and in Front of It; OBITUARIES

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gore Vidal; Author and Pundit Dealt with Strong Themes and Spent Time Both Off-Camera and in Front of It; OBITUARIES

Article excerpt

Gore Vidal was best known as an author, pundit and raconteur. But the writer, who died Tuesday (Aug. 1, 2012) at 86, also had time for movies - both writing for and appearing in them.

His screenwriting career took more than a few notable turns. Most famously was 1979's "Caligula," the explicit look at the tyrannical and hedonistic Roman emperor.

There were also plenty of adult themes in Mr. Vidal's mystery "Suddenly Last Summer," set in New Orleans, a 1959 release that trafficked in murder, mental illness and sexual explicitness. Mr. Vidal adapted the picture from the Tennessee Williams play.

Mr. Vidal also looked at homosexuality and politics in 1964's "The Best Man," a script he adapted from his own play about a presidential candidate who was closeting his past. A revival of the play is now on Broadway, where theaters will dim their marquee lights on Friday night at 7 p.m. St. Louis time to honor Mr. Vidal.

And he co-wrote, with Francis Ford Coppola, the 1966 World War II picture "Is Paris Burning? …

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