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Oscar Winner Dies: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Novelist and Screenwriter, Was 85

Image: Oscar Winner Dies: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Novelist and Screenwriter, Was 85 (L-R) James Ivory, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and Ismail Merchant, who together formed Merchant Ivory Productions, receive a British Academy film fellowship at a ceremony in London, February 24, 2002.

Thursday, 04 Apr 2013 07:38 AM

Oscar-winning screenwriter and award-winning novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who adapted "Howards End" and "A Room With a View" into films, has died. She was 85.

Her daughter Firoza Jhabvala said on Wednesday that Ruth Prawer Jhabvala died in New York City after a long illness.

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Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was a longtime member of Merchant Ivory Productions, writing 22 films over four decades. She won two Academy Awards for her adaptations of the E.M. Forster novels "Howards End" and "A Room With a View." She was also nominated for adapting 1993's "The Remains of the Day." All three films were also best-picture contenders.

"Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has been a beloved member of the Merchant Ivory family since 1960, comprising one-third of our indomitable trifecta that included director James Ivory and the late producer Ismail Merchant," said the company's director of development, Neil Jesuele. "The passing of our two-time Academy Award winning screenwriter is a significant loss to the global film community."

Jhabvala was also recognized for her fiction, receiving Britain's highest literary honor for her 1975 novel, "Heat and Dust." Her stories appeared in The New Yorker magazine, the most recent just last month.

Jhabvala is survived by Firoza Jhabvala and two other daughters, her husband Cyrus Jhabvala, and six grandchildren.

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