Peter Viertel, writer and scriptwriter, passed away yesterday in Marbella at 86 years
By EFE. - MARBELLA
Last update November 6, 2007
The writer and scriptwriter Peter Viertel passed away yesterday in Marbella at the age of 86 years as a result of a serious disease which had worsened in the last days. This comes only three weeks after his wife died in the United Kingdom, the actress Deborah Kerr.
Viertel, author of titles like ‘La Reina de África’ about director John Huston, and the film ‘Sabotaje’, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, had lived for very many years in Marbella. Much of that time he resided here with his wife. Twenty days ago he entered a clinic of the city, where he passed away yesterday, according to Efe Arturo Reque, friend of the family.
Reque, lawyer and personal friend of Viertel, explained that the writer of German origin was already in the sanitary center of USP Marbella Hospital when the news of the death of his wife reached him, a fact that affected him deeply in spite of his being a man of much strength and tremendous mental fortitude.
"Only a month ago he continued playing golf and working on a new novel and his memoirs”, said Reque.
He said that Viertel was very much a man of Marbella and close to its people, and that he chose it as a residence because the city was so much like Malibu when Viertel was in his twenties.
The writer, whose book "White Hunter, Black Heart" was made into a movie by Clint Eastwood, emphasized that he prefered to continue to write novels and working for films "is not very good for whom wants to write novels." Cinema was primarily a way to earn money.
In an interview granted on the occasion of the first edition of his novel 'Bicycle on the Beach', Viertel recalled that the first work of Ernest Hemingway "had great commercial success and therefore was easier for him not to work in the movies and to be the only famous author that never worked in Hollywood".
The screenwriter indicated that the work in the movies was "more pleasant than writing novels, because he can thus work with other people and not alone ", although affirmed that Hemingway "was right" when told him that was himself "prostituting", because "we were little putitas working for Hollywood".
On his relation with the directors, he said it had been "always a little tense", despite that he was friends with men like John Huston or Billy Wilder, "but at thesame time, working with them always there was some friction".
Born in Dresden (Germany) in 1920, Viertel passed his infancy in California, where his family was living since he was eight years old.
Although he did not rule out to work again for Hollywood, he denied the possibility to live again in the United States. "If one has lived a lot of time in a latin country, it is difficult to live in another non-latin country". "I am more Andalusian than the Andalusian", affirmed the writer and screenwriter, whose mortal remains will be cremated today in the Virgin cemetery of the Carmen of Marbella.