Anne Edwards Dies: Biographer, Screenwriter, Novelist, Actress Was 96

Anne Edwards, dubbed “The Queen of Biography” for her work on best-selling books about the actresses Vivien Leigh and Katharine Hepburn, as well as 14 other celebrity biographies, died on Jan. 20 in Beverly Hills, Calif. She was 96 and her daughter said she passed from lung cancer at a senior living facility.

In addition to her biographies, the prolific had eight novels, three children’s books, two memoirs and one autobiography.

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A child performer on radio and the stage, Ms. Edwards sold her first screenplay in 1949, when she was 22 (the movie “Quantez,” a western starring Fred MacMurray, was released in 1957).

Her first novel, the mystery The Survivors arrived in 1968; and her first biography, of Judy Garland, in 1975.

Her “Vivien Leigh: A Biography” (1977) spent 19 weeks on The New York Times’s hardcover best-seller list.

Edwards also wrote biographies of Maria Callas, Ronald Reagan, Barbra Streisand and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Her screenwriting credits include the British thriller A Question of Adultery (1958), starring Julie London, which was released in the United States as The Case of Mrs. Loring, and, with Sidney Buchman, did early and unused drafts of the screenplay for Funny Girl (1968).

Her novels included Haunted Summer (1974), about the author Mary Shelley and the poet Lord Byron, which was adapted into a film in 1988.

Her family moved to California in the late 1930s at the invitation of an uncle, Dave Chasen, whose West Hollywood restaurant, Chasen’s, was a celebrity favorite.

Survivors include her daughter, Catherine Edwards Sadler, a son, Michael Edwards, three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Her third husband, the author and songwriter Stephen Citron, whom she married in 1980, died in 2013.

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