Warren Adler, author, playwright and poet, whose novels The War of the Roses and Random Hearts were adapted into feature films, has died. Adler died Monday of complications from liver cancer, the Los Angeles Times reports. He was 91.
His 1981 novel The War of The Roses was turned into the 1989 dark comedy feature starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. In both the novel and the film, the married couple’s family name is Rose, and the title is an allusion to the battles between the Houses of York and Lancaster (English Civil War) during the Late Middle Ages.
His novel Random Hearts also was adapted into a film starring Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas in 1999. His published manuscript Private Lies sparked an unprecedented bidding war between TriStar Pictures, Warner Bros. and Columbia. According to a report in Newsweek, TriStar Pictures won the rights for $1.2 million, at that time the highest yet paid in Hollywood for film rights to an unpublished manuscript.
Adler also wrote The Sunset Gang, produced by Linda Lavin for PBS’ American Playhouse series. It was adapted into a trilogy starring Uta Hagen, Harold Gould, Dori Brenner, Jerry Stiller and Ron Rifkin earning a best supporting actress in a mini-series Emmy nomination for Doris Roberts. A musical version of The Sunset Gang was produced Off-Broadway with a score by composer L. Russell Brown.
In 1981, Adler penned The Children of the Roses, a sequel to The War of the Roses. The follow-up focuses on the aftermath of the events in The War of the Roses, and the effect the Roses’ divorce had on their children.
Adler’s works have been translated into 25 languages His most recent and favorite work was Last Call, a sunset love story between two 80-year-old people.