Patricia MacLachlan, author of the best-selling and award-winning 1985 children’s book Sarah, Plain and Tall and its sequels that were turned into three popular early 1990s Hallmark Hall of Fame TV-movies starring Glenn Close, died March 31 at her home in Williamsburg, Mass. She was 84.
Her death was confirmed by her son John MacLachlan to The New York Times. No cause was specified.
The book series and the three films chronicled the adventures of a Maine woman named Sarah Wheaton (played by Close in the movies) who travels to Kansas in 1910 as a mail-order bride to a widower and care for his two young children. Christopher Walken played widower Jacob Witting in all three movies.
The three films based on the book series were co-written by MacLachlan: Skylark in 1993, and Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter’s End in 1999. Two other books written by MacLachlan outside the Sarah series also were adapted for TV: Journey (1995) starring Jason Robards and Baby (2000) starring Farrah Fawcett, Keith Carradine and Jean Stapleton.
Born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, MacLachlan was an English teacher who began her professional writing career at age 35. Within a decade she had published a number of novels, including the 1986 Newbery Award winner Sarah, Plain and Tall. Over the course of a writing career that would continue throughout her life, MacLachlan authored more than 60 children’s books.
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