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Sean Connor

Sean Connor

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A highly-regarded American author whose 1959 political thriller novel "The Manchurian Candidate" was turned into the classic 1962 feature film bearing the same name, Richard Condon only worked on one produced screenplay, co-writing (with Janet Roach) the 1985 adaptation of his 1982 quick-paced mobster family novel, "Prizzi's Honor," but he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. His work was often darkly comic, but often not comic at all, delving into the inner recesses of evil minds, tackling the notion of what people do when in the power seat.A product of the New York City schools, Condon worked for 22 years as a publicist, including a stint with Walt Disney, before publishing his first novel, "The Oldest Confession," in 1958. A museum theft caper, it was made into a film as "The Happy Thieves" with Rex Harrison in 1962. His second novel was "The Manchurian Candidate," a stirring tale of post Korean War brainwashing and including an evil mother character (played in the 1962 film by Angela Lansbury) the likes of which have rarely been seen in literature or on the screen. Laurence Harvey and Frank Sinatra also starred in the feature, which was directed by John Frankenheimer....

A highly-regarded American author whose 1959 political thriller novel "The Manchurian Candidate" was turned into the classic 1962 feature film bearing the same name, Richard Condon only worked on one produced screenplay, co-writing (with Janet Roach) the 1985 adaptation of his 1982 quick-paced mobster family novel, "Prizzi's Honor," but he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. His work was often darkly comic, but often not comic at all, delving into the inner recesses of evil minds, tackling the notion of what people do when in the power seat.

A product of the New York City schools, Condon worked for 22 years as a publicist, including a stint with Walt Disney, before publishing his first novel, "The Oldest Confession," in 1958. A museum theft caper, it was made into a film as "The Happy Thieves" with Rex Harrison in 1962. His second novel was "The Manchurian Candidate," a stirring tale of post Korean War brainwashing and including an evil mother character (played in the 1962 film by Angela Lansbury) the likes of which have rarely been seen in literature or on the screen. Laurence Harvey and Frank Sinatra also starred in the feature, which was directed by John Frankenheimer. Condon published "A Talent For Loving" in 1961, the story of a professional gambler who marries into a wealthy Mexican family. (It was made into a Richard Widmark film vehicle in 1969.) In 1964 came the novel "An Infinity of Mirrors," not a holocaust novel, but piercing in its examination of the evil that percolates with psyches such as those of the Nazis.

Condon was particularly prolific in the 70s, publishing a novel virtually each year. Particularly successful was "Winter Kills" (1974), which looked touched back on some "Manchurian Candidate" areas as it looked at the assassination of a president through the eyes of the younger brother who tries to solve the case. It was made into a film in 1979 which was unsuccessful in its original release, but was re-released in a re-edited form in 1983 and has since found favor as a dark comedy. "Prizzi's Honor," which told the tale of a Mafia button man married to a button woman and involved in an intrigue manipulated by the Mafia don's fallen granddaughter, was published in 1982. Its success as a novel and as a 1985 feature film spawned two sequels, "Prizzi's Family" (1986) and "Prizzi's Glory" (1988). Condon died of kidney failure in 1996. After spending much of the 60s and 70s outside the USA, he settled in Dallas nearby one of his daughters. At the time of his death, "Prizzi's Family" was in development as a motion picture, and there was talk of a remake of "Manchurian Candidate." In all, he wrote 26 novels and two works of non-fiction, including "The Mexican Stove," written with his daughter, Wendy Jackson, and "And Then We Moved to Rossenarra," a memoir of his years living in Ireland.

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