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Subject: Paul Zindel, playwright

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Date Posted: March 28, 2003 1:12:46 EDT

Playwright Paul Zindel, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" died Thursday. He was 66.

Zindel died of cancer at the Jacob Perlow Hospice in Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, according to his daughter, Lizabeth Zindel.

Zindel was also the best-selling author of young-adult fiction, but it was "Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds," which starred Sada Thompson, that first brought him fame. The play about a young girl who lives with her abusive mother and epileptic sister opened off-Broadway in April 1970 and ran for nearly two years.

Originally written for television, "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1971 and the following year was made into a movie starring Joanne Woodward and directed by Paul Newman.

Zindel's Broadway plays included "And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little" (1971), "The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild" (1972) and "Ladies of the Alamo" (1977). He also wrote the screenplays for several movies including "Up the Sandbox" (1972), which starred Barbra Streisand, and "Mame" (1974), which had Lucille Ball in the title role.

Zindel also wrote more than two dozen books for children and young adults, starting in 1968 with "The Pigman."Other titles included "My Darling, My Hamburger" and "The Pigman's Legacy."

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