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September 22, 1936|
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Died||December 6, 1998
Manhasset, New York, U.S.
|Notable works||Child's Play, Burnt Offerings, Parlor Games|
Life and career
Child's Play debuted at the Royale Theater in New York on February 17. Starring Pat Hingle, the play dealt with demonic doings at a 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. 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, Marasco 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.
Marasco died of lung cancer in 1998, leaving several unproduced screenplays and the finished play, Our Sally. He was survived by his father, Anthony Marasco, and his sister, Carole Melillo.
- 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.
- Gussow, Mel. "Robert Marasco, 62, Writer of 'Child's Play'", The New York Times, 11 December 1998. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
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