Ira Levin, who wrote the novels "Rosemary's Baby," "The Stepford Wives" and "The Boys from Brazil," died on Monday at age 78.
Levin attended New York University, where he majored in philosophy and English. After college he wrote training films and scripts for television. He even wrote plays. Levin adapted Mac Hyman's novel "No Time for Sergeants" for the stage. It starred a young Andy Griffith, who went on to reprise his role in the feature film version. He also wrote "Death Trap," which ran on Broadway for 1,793 performances, from 1978 to 1982.
He published his first novel, “A Kiss Before Dying,” when he was in still his early 20s. The novel won the 1954 Edgar Award for best first novel from the Mystery Writers of America.
He also wrote the novels "Sliver" and "Son of Rosemary: The Sequel to Rosemary's Baby."
Levin told The Los Angeles Times in 2002, “I feel guilty that ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ led to ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘The Omen.' A whole generation has been exposed, has more belief in Satan. I don’t believe in Satan. And I feel that the strong fundamentalism we have would not be as strong if there hadn’t been so many of these books.”
“Of course,” Mr. Levin added, “I didn’t send back any of the royalty checks.”
Levin died at his Manhattan home.