Obituary Article Marbella, Spain

(Screen shot and translation/paraphrase below.)

La Tribuna Peter Viertel

Peter Viertel, writer and scriptwriter, passed away yesterday in Marbella at 86 years

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".

The directors

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.

A letter of remembrance of Peter Viertel by a friend in Marbella is here.

Editorial Article from La Tribuna, Marbella, Spain

La Tribuna Peter VIertel

Editorial Page 4, November 5, 2007

Page scan (above) courtesy of Mike Pinter, Marbella, Spain

La Tribuna Peter Viertel Funeral

Family and friends give final goodbye to writer Peter Viertel

The City Hall will propose that a street of the municipality to carry his name

Last update November 7, 2007

Family and friends said good-bye yesterday to writer and screenwriter Peter Viertel, who died Sunday in Marbella at the age of 86. A ceremony of intimate character was given for the honored author, whose mortal remainders were cremated at the Virgin cemetery of the Carmen.

During the funeral, friends of Viertel recalled this author of motion pictures such as "The African Queen" directed by John Huston, or read poems of his mother.

The ceremony had the assistance of two officials of the United States Army in which Viertel served as a marine, coming from the base of Broken and whose presence was organized by the American embassy. To the stepdaughter of Viertel, Francesca Shrapner, the folded flag of his country was given.

Among the personalities that gave the last good-bye were Marisa of Bourbon, María Luisa of Prussia and her husband the count Rudy, as well as the councilman of Culture in the City Hall of Marbella, Carmen Díaz, that announced that the government team will propose that a street of the municipality carry the name of Viertel.

The town Council Marbella approved in September to baptize a street of the city with the name of the famous actress Deborah Kerr, wife of Viertel, that passed away three weeks before in United Kingdom.

At the funeral of the screenwriter also attended Aline Griffith, widowed countess of Romanones, that recalled that she was the person that brought to Marbella Viertel and Kerr in the late 1960s. Also emphasized was the "marvelous sense of humor" and the love of animals by the writer. "By his great sympathy, by his love to Spain and by his sense of humor friend made of the entire world" affirmed Griffith.

The former director of the Hotel The Hunters and of the school of hotel business The Cónsula, Rafael of the Source, he said that the writer and his wife "they have been very important" for Marbella and assured that "never they are going to leave us, because people like they ennoble and they make better the place where they live".

It was explained that, although American of German origin, Viertel "was of very Andalusian heart." Born in Dresden (Germany) in 1920, Viertel was settled from the late 1960s in Marbella, where great part of the year he resided with his wife.

La Tribuna de Marbella Peter Viertel

Thomas Kuhnke - Literary Representation

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