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Malcolm Marmorstein, screenwriter of films like Disney’s 1977 Pete’s Dragon and the 1960s vampiric soap opera Dark Shadows, has died. According to Deadline, Marmorstein passed away in Los Angeles this Saturday from cancer.
Dark Shadows, a supernatural-filled soap opera, has a fervent fan base that carries on to this day. While the originator of the show’s popular vampire character, Barnabas Collins, has been disputed, Marmorstein is one of the writers who is often cited as bringing supernatural elements to the soap.
After working on Dark Shadows, Marmorstein went on to write Pete’s Dragon in 1977, a part-cartoon, part-live-action Disney cult hit film that starred Helen Reddy, Jim Dale and Mickey Rooney, among others. The following year he wrote Return from Witch Mountain for Disney, a sci-fi film that starred twins endowed with telekinesis who must escape the clutches of villains played by Bette Davis and Christopher Lee.
In later years he also penned the TV movie, Frankenstein, and, in 1993, returned to vampires with the comedy Love Bites.
According to Deadline, Marmorstein was preceded in death by first wife Martha, and is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons Larry, Wayne, and Mitchell; daughter Darragh; stepdaughters Romy and Dena; as well as three grandchildren and a great-grandchild.