Oscar-winning screenwriter and novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has died at age 85, the Associated Press reports. Her daughter, Firoza Jhabvala, confirms her death in New York, after a long illness.
Jhabvala’s writing career began with a series of novels about her life in India. She was later approached by Merchant Ivory Productions to turn one of the novels into a movie. “The Householder” was released in 1963. She went on to write 22 films total for the production company, winning two Academy Awards.
Her Oscars were a result of adapting E.M. Forster novels “Howards End” and “A Room With a View.” She received a third nomination for her adaptation of “The Remains of the Day” in 1993. Her last screenplay was for 2008’s “The City of Your Final Destination,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney.
A statement from Merchant Ivory Productions calls Jhabvala’s death “a significant loss to the global film community.” The statement reads, “Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has been a beloved member of the Merchant Ivory family since 1960, comprising one-third of our indomitable trifecta that included director James Ivory and the late producer Ismail Merchant.”
She is survived by her husband, three daughters, and six grandchildren.