British journalist and author Nicholas Evans, best known for writing “The Horse Whisperer,” which was adapted as a film by Robert Redford, has died of a heart attack, according to United Agents. He was 72.
In a statement, United Agents said the “much-loved” author had died following a heart attack on Aug. 9. “He lived a full and happy life, in his home on the banks of the River Dart in Devon,” the statement added.
Evans’ 1995 novel “The Horse Whisperer” sold 20 million copies worldwide and was the number one bestseller in 20 countries. It has been translated into 40 languages. The 1998 film, produced by and directed by Redford, also starred him alongside Scarlett Johansson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Sam Neill.
The inspiration for “The Horse Whisperer” came in 1993 when Evans met a blacksmith in the south-west of England who informed him about horse whisperers — those who have the gift of healing traumatized horses by speaking to them.
Evans was born in 1950 in Worcestershire and read Law at Oxford. During the 1970s he served as a journalist focusing on U.S. politics and foreign affairs, and covered the war in Beirut. In the 1980s, he worked at London Weekend Television and produced films on Laurence Olivier, Francis Bacon and David Hockney for “The South Bank Show.” His film on director David Lean led to the legendary filmmaker becoming his mentor.
Evans’ credits as a screenwriter and producer include “Murder by the Book,” “Act of Betrayal,” “Secret Weapon” and “Just Like a Woman.” He also wrote the bestselling novels “The Loop,” “The Smoke Jumper,” “The Divide” and “The Brave.”
He is survived by his wife Charlotte and children Finlay, Lauren, Max and Harry.