‘Terms of Endearment’ author Larry McMurtry dead at 84

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and screenwriter Larry McMurtry, who wrote “Terms of Endearment” and co-wrote the screenplay for “Brokeback Mountain,” died Thursday. He was 84.

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McMurtry died of congestive heart failure at his home in Archer City, Texas, Diana Ossana, his friend and writing partner, told The New York Times. A representative for McMurtry, Amanda Lundberg, said in a statement that the author died “surrounded by his loved ones who he lived with, including longtime writing partner Diana Ossana, his wife Norma Faye and their three dogs.”

McMurtry wrote more than 30 novels and more than a dozen nonfiction works. His depictions of the American West came to the fore in books such as “Lonesome Dove,” NPR reported. The 843-page novel, which followed two retired Texas Rangers as they drove a herd of stolen cattle across the Great Plains during the 1870s, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1986, The New York Times reported.

“‘Lonesome Dove’ was an effort to kind of demythologize the myth of the Old West,” McMurtry told The Associated Press in a 2014 interview. “They’re going to twist it into something romantic no matter what you do.”

The novel was adapted into a popular television miniseries in 1989 starring Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Duvall and Danny Glover, according to IMDb.com.

McMurtry won an Academy Award in 2006 after co-writing the screenplay for “Brokeback Mountain” with Ossana, adapting a short story by Annie Proulx to the screen.

He was first nominated for a best adapted screenplay Oscar in 1972 for the adaptation of his novel, “The Last Picture Show,” People reported.

Several other of McMurtry’s books were made into films, the Times reported. “Horseman, Pass By” was made into “Hud,” and his 1975 novel, “Terms of Endearment,” starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson, won the Academy Award for best picture of 1983.

McMurtry served as the president of PEN America’s Board of Trustees for two years, beginning in 1989. He ran a bookstore in his hometown. Even after selling more than half of his holdings in Booked Up in 2012, McMurtry still owned about 200,000 books between his private collection and the store, NPR reported.


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