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IRVING WALLACE, NOVELIST, SCREENWRITER, DIES AT 74

Author Irving Wallace, who wrote the best-selling novels "The Chapman Report" and "The Prize," died Friday. He was 74.

Wallace died of pancreatic cancer shortly before 1 p.m., said Ron Wise, spokesman for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

"His wife and son and daughter were at his side at the time of death," said Wise. Wallace entered Cedars-Sinai on Tuesday in serious condition.

Born in Chicago in 1916, Wallace edited many books, including "The People's Almanac" and "The Book of Lists."

He wrote screenplays for "The West Point Story" in 1950; "Desert Legion," "Gun Fury," "Meet Me at the Fair" and "Split Second" in 1953; and "Bad for Each Other" in 1954.

Considered by the Saturday Review magazine to be one of the five most widely read authors in the world, Wallace had sold more than 194 million copies of his 33 books.

Some of those titles are: "The Fabulous Originals" (his first published book), 1953; "The Sins of Philip Fleming," (his first novel), 1959; "The Fabulous Showman," 1959; "The Man," 1964; "The Plot," 1967; "The Word," 1972; "The Pigeon Project," 1979; "The Seventh Secret," 1986; and "The Celestial Bed," 1987.

Wallace lived in a 17-room home on 1 1/2 acres in Brentwood, which was the setting for the Briars, the fictional community featured in "The Chapman Report."

Wallace's wife and children are also authors of note. His wife, Sylvia, has helped write four books, including "Empress" and "The Intimate Sex Lives of Famous People."

Son David Wallace, who writes under the name David Wallechinsky, has written 12 non-fiction books, including the best seller "Midterm Report," a follow-up to the best seller "What Really Happened to the Class of '65."

Daughter Amy, a psychic healer as well as an author, worked with her mother on "The Intimate Sex Lives of Famous People" and recently wrote "The Prodigy."

Wallace was particularly proud of his independence as an author.

"The big motivation for me was the desire to be independent, to get up when you want, write what you want and work where you want," he said in a 1984 interview with the Associated Press.

He said he'd had only two bosses in his life -- Ronald Reagan, his superior officer in the Army's wartime propaganda film unit, and Jack Warner, who hired him to write movie scripts for Warner Bros.

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