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Frederick Knott, Author of Dial M for Murder and Wait Until Dark, Dead at 86 logo

A scene from the film version
of Dial M for Murder
Frederick Knott, who penned the popular thrillers Dial M For Murder and Wait Until Dark, died Tuesday in Manhattan at age 86.

A number of London producers turned down Dial M For Murder before it was finally adapted as a television drama by the British Broadcasting Corporation. The play later opened in London to considerable success and premiered on Broadway to great success, running over 500 performances. Alfred Hitchcock directed the movie version in 1954, working from Knott's screenplay; a 1998 remake, starring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow, was titled A Perfect Murder.

Knott was also represented on Broadway by Write Me a Murder, which premiered in 1961, and Wait Until Dark, which opened in 1966 with a cast including Lee Remick, James Congdon, and Robert Duvall. The latter play had a critically lambasted Broadway revival in 1998, starring Marisa Tomei and Quentin Tarantino.

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