Judith Bluma-Gittel Tarcher
January 9, 1928
|Died||June 22, 2019 (aged 91)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
(m. 1954; died 2007)
|Children||2, including Tony|
Judith Bluma-Gittel Tarcher was born on January 9, 1928, in New York City, the daughter of Mary (Braeger), a Lithuanian-born attorney, and Jack D. Tarcher, an advertising executive. Her family was Jewish. The "youngest, smartest, and shortest girl" in her year, she graduated from the upscale Birch Wathen School at age 16. Krantz then enrolled at Wellesley College.
Krantz told The Boston Globe in 1982 that she attended Wellesley with three goals: to date, to read every novel in the library, and to graduate. "Torchy", as her dormmates named her, held the dorm dating record as the only one to have 13 consecutive dates with 13 different men. Her grades, unfortunately, were not as impressive as her extracurricular activities. Krantz earned one A-plus in English, but had a B- average in her major and C average in everything else. Krantz had the opportunity to improve her marks when she took a short-story class during her sophomore year. Although the professor enjoyed her writing, he refused to give her an A because she had atrocious spelling, and he thought the B would teach her a lesson. Krantz claims to have learned the lesson well—she did not write fiction again for 31 years.
After graduating from Wellesley in 1948, Krantz moved to Paris, where she worked in fashion public relations. She enjoyed attending elegant parties, borrowing couture gowns, and meeting prominent people such as Marlene Dietrich, Orson Welles and Hubert de Givenchy.
The following year, Krantz returned to New York City, where she embarked on a career in magazine journalism. She worked in the fiction department at Good Housekeeping before being promoted to fashion editor and having the opportunity to write several articles for the magazine.
In 1953 Krantz attended a Fourth of July party hosted by her high school friend, Barbara Walters. There she met her future husband, the future film and television producer Steve Krantz. The two were married the following year, on February 19, 1954. Three years later, she gave birth to their first son, and she gave up her full-time job, choosing instead to write part-time from home. She wrote many freelance articles for Maclean's, McCall's, Ladies' Home Journal, and Cosmopolitan. Her best-known article was "The Myth of the Multiple Orgasm", which was published in Cosmopolitan. Her magazine career gave Krantz an opportunity to interview many prominent women.
In 1976, Krantz's husband decided to take flying lessons. Krantz chose to join him, despite the fact that she was afraid of flying. Having conquered that fear, she determined to face her other fears. For the first time since college, she attempted to write fiction. Although her husband had been insisting for years that she was a natural storyteller, Krantz believed that she was writing the book simply to prove to him that she was not able to write good fiction.
She completed her first novel, Scruples, nine months later. The year it was published, 1978, Krantz turned 50. In an unusual turn of events for the time, the books were not copyrighted under her own name but by Steve Krantz Productions. That first novel reached the number one spot on The New York Times bestseller list. Her second novel, Princess Daisy, netted her an astounding $5 million before its publication. The paperback rights sold for a then-record $3.2 million. Princess Daisy and her next two novels also became number one bestsellers. Over 80 million copies of her books are in print in over 50 languages. Seven of her novels have also been adapted for television (as either films or mini-series), with her husband having served as executive producer for some of them. She also wrote one original mini-series for television, Judith Krantz's "Secrets", in 1992.
Krantz's husband Steve Krantz died in 2007 of pneumonia. The couple had two sons, Tony Krantz and Nicholas Krantz, both of whom reside in the Los Angeles area. Krantz was the sister-in-law of Shari Lewis, who was married to Krantz's brother, Jeremy P. Tarcher, publisher of nonfiction books on health, psychology and New Age spirituality.
- Scruples (1978) (adapted as a 1980 miniseries)
- Princess Daisy (1980) (adapted as a 1983 miniseries)
- Mistral's Daughter (1982) (adapted as a 1984 miniseries)
- I'll Take Manhattan (1986) (adapted as a 1987 miniseries)
- Till We Meet Again (1988) (adapted as a 1989 miniseries)
- Dazzle (1990) (adapted as a 1995 miniseries)
- Scruples Two (1992)
- Lovers (1994)
- Spring Collection (1996)
- The Jewels of Tessa Kent (1998)
- Sex and Shopping: The Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl (2000) (autobiography)
Original television work
- Judith Krantz's "Secrets" (1992 TV mini-series, not based on a source novel)
- Torch Song (1993) (adapted as a 1993 made-for-TV movie)
- Horwell, Veronica (2019-06-27). "Judith Krantz obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
- "Judith Krantz, Best-Selling Author and Journalist, Dies at 91". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- Asmelash, Leah; Gray, Melissa. "Judith Krantz, romance novelist, dies at 91". CNN. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- "Judith Krantz, Novelist Who Wrote Tales of Sex and Shopping, Dies at 91". 23 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019 – via www.bloomberg.com.
- Ruark, Liz (February 12, 2001). "Person of the Week: Judith Tarcher Krantz '48". Wellesley. Archived from the original on September 1, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Huseby, Sandy (2000). "Judith Krantz: Life is even better than fiction". Book Page. Archived from the original on 2007-04-09. Retrieved 2007-02-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Martin, Douglas (January 12, 2007). "Steve Krantz, 83, Maker of TV Mini-Series, Dies". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
- Fraser, C. Gerald (November 6, 1983). "Television Week". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
- "Advisory Board". Compassion and Choices. 2005. Archived from the original on July 23, 2008. Retrieved 2007-02-07. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Music Center Welcomes New Board Members". Music Center. October 24, 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
- Fox, Margalit (June 23, 2019). "Judith Krantz, Whose Tales of Sex and Shopping Sold Millions, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2019.