Patricia MacLachlan, an award-winning author who wrote four books that became some of the most popular Hallmark Hall of Fame films, has died.
She died at her home in Massachusetts
MacLachlan died at her home in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, at the age of 84. appointment reported. Her son John MacLachlan confirmed with The New York Times that she died on March 31st. A cause of death was not given.
Her father, Philo Pritzkau, was an education professor and her mother, Madonna Pritzkau, was an English teacher, the New York Times said. She was born in Wyoming but also grew up in Connecticut and Minnesota. She was an only child.
Publisher Weekly reports that her parents did not believe in forbidden or inappropriate books during her childhood. “I’ve measured my life by when I read a certain book,” she said.
She said trying to start a writing career was “very scary,” and she initially said she would only try for a few years and then quit if she didn’t get published.
In 1962 she earned a bachelor’s degree in education and married Robert MacLachlan Jr., a psychologist. They were married until his death in 2015.
They had three children – John, Jamison and Emily – and six grandchildren.
Four Hallmark Hall of Fame films were based on her books
Hallmark directed three Sarah, Plain and Tall films based on her award-winning books. The Hallmark Hall of Fame films began airing on television in the early 1990s, Deadline reported. Sarah, Plain and Tall won the 1986 Newberry Award. The other two films were called Skylark and Sarah, Plain & Tall: Winter’s End.
The series was about a Maine woman who became a mail order bride and traveled to Kansas to take care of the widower and his children. Christopher Walken played husband Jacob Witting in the Hall of Fame films. Glenn Close played Sarah Witting. Lexi Randall was Anna Witting, Christopher Bell was Caleb Witting, and Malgorzata Zajaczkowska was Maggie.
Here’s a trailer for Sarah, Plain and Tall.
Publishers Week reports that MacLachlan shared in her autobiography that life on the prairie always fired her imagination. It “has always been a powerful source in my life that fueled my spirit and imagination and made me feel like I belonged in a certain place,” she wrote. She said she keeps a bag of prairie dirt with her to always remind herself of where she started.
Two other books written by MacLachlan have also been made into films: Journey in 1995 and Baby in 2000.
Journey was also a Hallmark Hall of Fame film starring Jason Robards, Brenda Fricker, Max Pomeranc and Eliza Dushku.
Baby was a Warner film starring Farrah Fawcett, Keith Carradine, Jean Stapleton and Alison Pill.
HarperCollins has announced that three more books by MacLachlan will be published this year, The New York Times reported. One of them is called “Snow Horses” and debuts in November, Publisher Weekly reports.
MacLachlan said she loved receiving letters from children and kept one on her fridge thanking her for writing “the second greatest book I’ve ever read.”
“I always wonder what the first greatest book this kid ever read was,” she said.
CONTINUE READING: Hallmark’s April 2022 film schedule
https://heavy.com/entertainment/hallmark/hallmark-hall-of-fame-author-dies/ Author of Sarah, Plain & Tall book series dies