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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 April, 2003, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Author Steinbeck's widow dies
Elaine Steinbeck
Mrs Steinbeck was a vocal supporter of her late husband's work

Actress Elaine Steinbeck, the widow of respected author John Steinbeck, has died in the US aged 88.

Mrs Steinbeck died of natural causes at New York Hospital on Monday after a long illness, a literary spokesman for the late author said.

She had been living in a New York apartment she once shared with her husband, who wrote classics such as Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath. He died in 1968.

Over the last 35 years, she had been a supporter of her husband's work, editing volumes of his writing and speaking on his behalf.

The author concentrated on social issues and won the 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature for his work.

Mrs Steinbeck was born in Austin, Texas, the daughter of a wealthy oil family, and studied drama at the University of Texas, where she met actor Zachary Scott. They later married.


She worked as a stage manager in New York theatres in the 1940s, working with noted black actor Paul Robeson.

Her marriage to Scott ended in 1950 when he moved to Hollywood, and she married Steinbeck in the same year.

"I had two good marriages - I was very lucky," she once said.

She was honoured in 1998 by the Bay Street Theater in Sag, a Hamptons resort where she spent her summer months. Well-wishers included Bruce Springsteen and actress Julie Andrews.

The theatre trustees said their stage would "forever be a tribute to her spirit and love of theatre and the arts".

Mrs Steinbeck is survived by her daughter to Zachary Scott, Waverley, a stepson, four grandchildren and two sisters.

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17 Feb 01  |  Northern Ireland

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