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Famous novelist and screenwriter Gore Vidal died at age 86 at his home in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 31, from complications of pneumonia.
Vidal penned the screenplays for films such as the R-rated 'Caligula,' which was released in 1979 and stars Malcolm McDowell as the hedonistic Roman emperor, and the 1964 World War II-themed movie 'Is Paris Burning?.' He also co-wrote the script for the 1959 film 'Ben-Hur' but is uncredited. He penned the Broadway play 'The Best Man,' which was made into a 1964 movie.
He had small parts in movies such as 'Gattaca' in 1997 and 'Igby Goes Down' in 2002. He portrayed himself on the animated shows 'The Simpsons' and 'Family Guy.'
Vidal was born Eugene Luther Gore Vidal in West Point, New York in 1925 and had moved from Italy to Los Angeles in 2003 with his male life partner, Howard Austen, who was ill at the time. The two opted to settle in the Hollywood Hills due to its proximity to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a Beverly Hills hospital, The New York Times said. Austen died that year.
In his 1995 memoir, 'Palimpsest,' he talked about his personal life, saying that he had 'calculated' that by the time he was 25, he had 'had more than 1,000 sexual encounters' with both men and women.
Vidal also penned novels such as 'Julian,' 'Messiah,' 'Lincoln,' 'Washington, D.C.,' 'Myra Breckinridge' and 'Hollywood' and 'The Golden Age.' In addition to 'The Best Man,' he wrote numerous Broadway plays, such as 'A Visit to a Small Planet,' 'Romulus' and 'Weekend.'
He also penned scripts for episodes of numerous television shows, beginning in the 1950s. His credits include programs such as 'Suspense' and 'Studio One in Hollywood.' In 1986, he earned his first and only Emmy nomination - for his script for the NBC TV movie 'Dress Gray.'
(Pictured: Gore Vidal appears at Barnes and Noble in Union Square in New York City on Oct. 21, 2009.)