Maritta Wolff Stegman, novelist whose two early books became the 1940s films “Whistle Stop” and “The Man I Love,” died of lung cancer July 1 in Los Angeles. She was 83.
Her first novel, “Whistle Stop,” written in 1941 when she was a 22-year-old senior at the U. of Michigan, became a bestseller. The book was made into a film of the same title starring Ava Gardner and George Raft five years later. Wolff Stegman’s second novel, “Night Shift,” which was published in 1942, was retitled “The Man I Love” for its bigscreen 1947 debut. The film starred Ida Lupino and Robert Alda.
The Michigan native went on to write another four novels during the ’40s and ’50s: “About Lyddy Thomas,” “Back of Town,” “The Big Nickelodeon” and “Buttonwood.”
Los Angeles resident survived by her husband of 55 years, Leonard, and by her son and daughter-in-law.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on July 29 at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park 1218 Glendon Ave., Westwood.