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'Bridges of Madison County' Author Robert James Waller Dead at 77

'Bridges of Madison County' Author Robert James Waller Dead at 77
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Meryl Streep & Clint Eastwood in "The Bridges of Madison County"

Robert James Waller, who skyrocketed to fame with the 1992 publication of his international best seller "The Bridges of Madison County," has died at 77.

THR reports Waller died early Friday at home in Fredericksburg, Texas, according to a family friend. Waller reportedly died of multiple myeloma.

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Waller in the 1990s

Waller's signature work — written in just 11 days — spent more than three years as a New York Times best-seller and spawned the 1995 movie of the same name, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, with Meryl Streep as his leading lady. Streep's performance in that film was lauded at this year's Oscars by Javier Bardem, who credited it with inspiring him to be a better actor. A musical based on the book played 137 performances on Broadway in 2014.

Though Waller's novel was considered lowbrow by critics (Waller admitted in a 2002 Times interview to being "stunned" by the "nastiness"), it went on to sell over 12 million copies and turned the real-life town of its title, located in Iowa, into a tourist attraction.

In all, Waller published seven books.

He is survived by his partner Linda Bow and his daughter, Rachel Waller