Gore Vidal's Life in Photos

A look back at the celebrated writer's long, controversial and glamorous career.

AP Photo (3) ; Getty Images

AP Photo (3) ; Getty Images

Gore Vidal, 1921-2012

Celebrated screenwriter, playwright, essayist, and political activist Gore Vidal died Tuesday night at age 86. The National Book Award-winning writer penned 25 books in his career, including Lincoln, Myra Breckenridge, and the famously controversial 1948 novel The City and the Pillar, which caused a stir for featuring openly gay characters. His hit play The Best Man is currently enjoying a hit revival on Broadway, and Vidal even unsuccessfully ran for office twice. Here, the accomplished multi-hyphenate is remembered through pictures.

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Movie star Ella Raines talks with Vidal at the Stork Club in New York City.

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Fresh off his adaptation ofThe Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the hit CBS anthology series Climax, Vidal discusses stage plans for a production of A Farewell to Arms with producer Martin Manulis.

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Vidal speaks with Australian director stage actor Cyril Ritchard, who was directing starring in a production of Vidal's hit comedy A Visit to a Small Planet at the Booth Theatre on Broadway.

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Vidal campaigns with then-presidential-hopeful John F. Kennedy (right) in 1960. Vidal is at the time a congressional candidate in an area of New York state that hasn't voted for a Democrat for 100 years. Vidal says the Republican habit "can be broken," though he eventually loses the election.  

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Appearing before the Federal Communications Commission at a hearing in New York, Vidal testifies against increased censorship of television programming. He says that he wrote 20 plays for TV in 1954-55, but has only written two for TV because of tight restrictions on subject matter.

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Legendary director Federico Fellini chats with Vidal on the set of Roma, which Fellini is directing. Vidal appears as himself in the film.

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Vidal appears on a March 1976 episode of The Tonight Show with host Johnny Carson.

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Vidal is interviewed by CBS news icon Mike Wallace.

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Celebrated authors (from left) Gay Talese, Susan Sontag, Norman Mailer, and Gore Vidal gather at a party following the Actors' Studio benefit production of George Bernard Shaw's Don Juan in Hell at Carnegie Hall in February 1993.

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Vidal poses in the living room of "villa la Rondinaia," his residence in Rovello, Italy.

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Gore Vidal, 1925-2012