George Baxt

Scribe of cult horror films

George Baxt, scribe of cult horror films and controversial pulp-fiction, died June 28 in Gotham from complications following heart surgery. He was 80.

During his run as a screenwriter, mostly during the 1960s and early ’70s, Baxt scribed the 1960 cult classic “Circus of Horrors.” Other features included “The Shadow of the Cat,” “The City of the Dead” and “Night of the Eagle.” His book “The Horror of Snape Island” also became a pic.

Earlier in his career, he penned scripts for TV’s “The Defenders” and “Goodyear Television Playhouse.”

In 1966 Baxt wrote his first novel “A Queer Kind of Death,” which introduced black and openly gay Pharoah Love as the lead character in a series of Gotham crime novels. The sequels “Swing Low, Sweet Harriet” (1967) and “Topsy and Evil” (1968) also were well-received.

Though the series eventually diminished in popularity, other novels appeared such as “A Parade of Cockeyed Creatures: Or Did Someone Murder Our Wandering Boy?” and a mystery series based on golden age Hollywood stars including “The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Murder Case.”

A memorial service will be held 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Aurora, 475 West 57th St., New York.

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