- Mar 22, 2009
Renowned author of the Novel Erich Segal passes away at the age of 72. He also wrote screenplay for 'Yellow Submarine' made famous by 'Beatles'. Rest in peace Eric, we will never forget you.
AFP: 'Love Story' author Erich Segal dead at 72
'Love Story' author Erich Segal dead at 72
(AFP) – 13 hours ago
LONDON — "Love Story" author Erich Segal, whose popular romantic drama coined the phrase "Love means never having to say you're sorry", has died of a heart attack at the age of 72, his daughter said.
Segal, who also wrote the screenplay for the Beatles' animated film "Yellow Submarine", died at his home in London on Sunday, his daughter Francesca Segal said.
The US-born author had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for many years, she revealed.
Segal was a classics professor at Yale University when he wrote the book "Love Story", which was made into a 1970 hit film directed by Arthur Hiller and starring Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw.
The movie -- winner of an Academy Award for best music and nominated for six other Oscars -- tells the story of a wealthy young Harvard law student, Oliver Barrett IV, who becomes estranged from his father when he marries Jennifer Cavilleri, a woman from a less privileged background.
The tale takes a tragic tearjerking twist when Jennifer develops leukaemia and eventually dies.
Oliver's father has a change of heart when he hears what has happened and races to see him, telling his son he is sorry to hear the sad news.
This is when Oliver replies: "Loves means never having to say you are sorry."
In a 2008 article for Granta magazine, the author's daughter said "Love Story", inspired by a true tale, made her father "a world-famous author."
"His agent begged him to put it aside, convinced it would ruin his reputation as a writer of macho action screenplays," she said.
"But it had poured from him in what felt like a single sitting and, although he could not have known to what extent, he knew it was worth fighting for."
She added: "The two monoliths that dominated my father's identity - the peak and the trough of his life - were 'Love Story' and Parkinson's disease."
Segal continued a regular literary output over the next two decades, including "Fairy Tale," "Oliver's Story," "Man, Woman and Child," and "Only Love," but none matched the success of "Love Story."
Speaking at his funeral Tuesday, Francesca Segal paid tribute to her father's tenacity.
"That he fought to breathe, fought to live, every second of the last 30 years of illness with such mind-blowing obduracy, is a testament to the core of who he was," she told mourners.
Erich Segal was born in New York and was an honorary fellow of Wolfson College at Oxford University.
He is survived by his wife, Karen James, and daughters Francesca, 29, and Miranda, 20.