ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) – Joseph Hayes, the acclaimed author who transformed his gripping 1954 novel “The Desperate Hours” into a Tony Award-winning play and Hollywood screenplay, has died from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease, his family said Sunday. He was 88.

Hayes died in a St. Augustine nursing home on Sept. 11, his son, Daniel, said.

Hayes, a novelist, playwright and producer, is best known for the “The Desperate Hours,” a fictional tale of a suburban Illinois family taken hostage by three escaped convicts. He adapted the novel into a Broadway play with a cast that included Paul Newman and Karl Malden. It won the 1955 Tony Award for best play.

He also developed the novel into a screenplay that was produced twice. The 1955 version starred Humphrey Bogart and Fredric March. It was remade in 1990 with Anthony Hopkins and Mickey Rourke.

Born in Indianapolis in 1918, Hayes was a graduate of Indiana University. He was a writer for New York television and radio before his first success with the 1949 Broadway release of his play “Leaf and Bough.”

Hayes often collaborated with his wife, Marrijane, who died in 1991. In 1962, they penned “Bon Voyage!” The Disney film starred Fred MacMurray.


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