September 22, 1936|
The Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
December 6, 1998 (aged 62)|
Manhasset, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Fordham University|
Robert Marasco (September 22, 1936 – December 6, 1998) was an American horror novelist, playwright, and teacher. He is best known for his 1970 Broadway play Child's Play, and his supernatural novel Burnt Offerings (1973), which was adapted into a 1976 film of the same name.
Born in the Bronx, New York City, Marasco attended Regis High School in Manhattan and graduated from Fordham University. After graduating from college, Marasco taught Latin at his high school alma mater.
During his time teaching at Regis High School, Marasco wrote Child's Play. Child's Play debuted at the Royale Theater in New York on February 17. Starring Pat Hingle and Ken Howard, the play dealt with demonic doings at a Roman Catholic boys' school. Marasco drew both on his experience as a teacher of Latin and Greek classics at Regis High School and a newspaper account he had read about a teacher who, after assigning his students some homework, immediately killed himself by jumping out a window.
Child's Play garnered a rave review on opening night from Clive Barnes of The New York Times, followed by a Tony nomination for Best Play of the Year. The production ran for 342 performances between February and December 1970. Following a less successful London production at the Queen's Theatre in 1971, the play was made into a film in 1972; Sidney Lumet directed, and the cast included James Mason, Robert Preston, and Beau Bridges.
After Child's Play, he published two novels: Burnt Offerings in 1973, and Parlor Games in 1979. Burnt Offerings was adapted into a 1976 film directed by Dan Curtis, starring Karen Black and Oliver Reed, with such veteran actors as Burgess Meredith, Eileen Heckart, and Bette Davis in small roles.
Later life and death
Marasco spent his later life in High Falls, New York. He died of lung cancer at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset on December 6, 1998, leaving several unproduced screenplays and the finished play, Our Sally. He was survived by his father, Anthony Marasco, and his sister, Carole Melillo.
- Vallance, Tom (December 15, 1998). "Obituary: Robert Marasco". The Independent. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
- Marasco, Robert (1973). Burnt Offerings. Delacorte Press. ISBN 978-0-440-00928-3. (Dust jacket biography notes).
- Bailey, Dale (1999). American Nightmares: The Haunted House Formula in American Popular Fiction. Bowling Green State University Popular Press. pp. 67–8. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- "Child's Play". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- 'Burnt Offerings' Is an Outstanding Terror Movie. The New York Times. September 30, 1976. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- Gussow, Mel (December 11, 1998). "Robert Marasco, 62, Writer of 'Child's Play'". The New York Times. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
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