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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, August 15, 2020

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Kurt Luedtke, journalist turned screenwriter

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Kurt Luedtke (80) rose to be top editor of a major American newspaper by age 33, then abruptly left journalism to become an Oscar-winning Hollywood screenwriter on films such as Out of Africa and Absence of Malice. Luedtke’s first film, Absence of Malice (1981), starring Sally Field and Paul Newman, was a dark drama about a reporter whose multiple ethical lapses led to tragedy. It earned him an Oscar nomination for original screenplay. In 1985 his second movie, Out of Africa, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, cleaned up at the Academy Awards, winning seven Oscars, including best picture and, for Luedtke, screenplay based on material from another medium. His collaborator on both projects, Sidney Pollack, won for directing. Luedtke died in Royal Oak, Michigan on August 9, 2020.

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