Admit it: you’ve probably even read, or at least picked up, a Sidney Sheldon novel in your life. The author of bestselling blockbusters like THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT and THE RAGE OF ANGELS – not to mention the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of THE BACHELOR AND THE BOBBYSOXER – died Tuesday at the age of 89 of complications from pneumonia. His wife, Alexandra, and his daughter, author Mary Sheldon, were by his side. The LA Times has a full obituary as well.
“I’ve lost a longtime and dear friend,” his publicist, Warren Cowan, said to the AP. “In all my years in this business, I’ve never heard an unkind word said about him.” And while Sheldon could not ever be said to have critical acclaim, his books sold millions and millions of copies. “I try to write my books so the reader can’t put them down,” he explained in a 1982 interview. “I try to construct them so when the reader gets to the end of a chapter, he or she has to read just one more chapter. It’s the technique of the old Saturday afternoon serial: leave the guy hanging on the edge of the cliff at the end of the chapter.” Analyzing why so many women bought his books, he commented: “I like to write about women who are talented and capable, but most important, retain their femininity. Women have tremendous power — their femininity, because men can’t do without it.”