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Judith Krantz Dies at 91

Steamy romance novelist didn't start writing until she was 50
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 24, 2019 2:59 AM CDT
Judith Krantz poses during an interview at her home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles.   (Deidre Hamill/AP Photo, File)
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(Newser) – Writer Judith Krantz, whose million-selling novels such as Scruples and Princess Daisy engrossed readers worldwide with their steamy tales of the rich and beautiful, died Saturday at her Bel-Air home. She was 91. Krantz's son Tony Krantz, a TV executive, confirmed her death by natural causes on Sunday afternoon. He said he'd hoped to re-create the Scruples miniseries before she died but it is still in the works. "She had this rare combination of commercial and creative," he said. Krantz wrote for Cosmopolitan and Ladies Home Journal magazines before discovering, at age 50, the talent for fiction that made her rich and famous like the characters she created, the AP reports. Her first novel—Scruples in 1978—became a best-seller, as did the nine that followed.

Krantz's books have been translated into 52 languages and sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. They inspired a series of hit miniseries with the help of her husband, film and television producer Steve Krantz. She filled her stories with delicious details about her characters' lavish lifestyles—designer clothes, luxurious estates—and enviable romances. And she spared no specifics when it came to sex. When she was just 16, she enrolled in Wellesley College, but when she could earn no better than a B in a short story class, she decided she wasn't good enough to write fiction. "I believed that if I couldn't write 'literature,' I shouldn't write at all," she was quoted as saying in a profile on Wellesley's website in 2001. "Now, I would say to young women, do something you have a true feeling for, no matter how little talent you may believe you have," she added. "Let no masterwork be your goal—a modest goal may lead you further than you dream."

(Read more obituary stories.)

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