Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

January 19, 2004

Olivia Goldsmith, 54, a best-selling novelist who used humor to lighten her cautionary tales about marital infidelity, corporate corruption and the cosmetic surgery boom, died Thursday in New York City of complications from elective plastic surgery.

She was best known for her first novel, The First Wives Club (1992), about three friends whose husbands leave them for younger women. The book was made into a movie released in 1996, starring Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler. Ms. Goldsmith captured national attention when the book was sold as a feature film.

Thousands of women who saw the film or read the book wrote to her about their painful experiences as jilted wives.

Ray Stark, 88, a publicist and actors' agent who became a Hollywood power broker and producer of such movies as Funny Girl, The Way We Were and The Sunshine Boys, died Saturday at his home in Los Angeles after a long illness.

He was considered the last of the great independent producers, following the pattern of Samuel Goldwyn and David O. Selznick.

Like them, he made films that were often based on best-selling books or hit plays, rich in production value and cast with major stars. Unlike them, he preferred to remain out of the limelight.

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