Robert Marasco

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Robert Marasco
Born (1936-09-22)September 22, 1936
The Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
Died December 6, 1998(1998-12-06) (aged 62)
Manhasset, New York, U.S.
Occupation Writer
Alma mater Fordham University
Notable works

Robert Marasco (September 22, 1936 – December 6, 1998)[1] 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.

Early life[edit]

Born in the Bronx, New York City, Marasco attended Regis High School in Manhattan and graduated from Fordham University.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] The production ran for 342 performances between February and December 1970.[4] 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.[5]

Later life and death[edit]

Marasco spent his later life in High Falls, New York.[6] He died of lung cancer at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset on December 6, 1998,[6] leaving several unproduced screenplays and the finished play, Our Sally. He was survived by his father, Anthony Marasco, and his sister, Carole Melillo.[6]

Written works[edit]




  1. ^ Vallance, Tom (December 15, 1998). "Obituary: Robert Marasco". The Independent. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  2. ^ Marasco, Robert (1973). Burnt Offerings. Delacorte Press. ISBN 978-0-440-00928-3. (Dust jacket biography notes).
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b "Child's Play". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  5. ^ 'Burnt Offerings' Is an Outstanding Terror Movie. The New York Times. September 30, 1976. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Gussow, Mel (December 11, 1998). "Robert Marasco, 62, Writer of 'Child's Play'". The New York Times. Retrieved November 26, 2017.

External links[edit]