Born: 19 January 1921
Died: 4 February 1995
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas
Best known as: The crime author who wrote The Talented Mr. Ripley
Patricia Highsmith's first novel, Strangers on a Train
(1950) was made into a successful film by Alfred Hitchcock
. Still, Highsmith is more famous for her creation of Tom Ripley, the charming and amoral protagonist who appeared in several of her novels. He first appeared in The Talented Mr. Ripley
(1955), murdering a wealthy friend and assuming his identity (and fortune). Ripley's adventures continued in Ripley Under Ground
(1970), Ripley's Game
(1974), The Boy Who Followed Ripley
(1980) and Ripley Under Water
(1981). Highsmith wrote a number of other novels and short stories, often macabre, over her long career. She is considered one of the more literary novelists in the crime genre. From 1963 until her death, the reclusive Highsmith lived in Europe.
Highsmith never married and had no children… Tom Ripley has been played in the movies by Dennis Hopper (The American Friend, 1977), Matt Damon (The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1999) and John Malkovich (Ripley’s Game, 2002), among others.
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