Cormac McCarthy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist known for works like “All the Pretty Horses,” “No Country for Old Men,” and “The Road,” has passed away at the age of 89.
Cormac McCarthy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist known for works like “All the Pretty Horses,” “No Country for Old Men,” and “The Road,” has passed away at the age of 89. He died in Santa Fe, N.M., from natural causes. McCarthy’s films brought him fame, readership, and financial stability after enduring years of obscurity and poverty. His publisher, Penguin Random House, confirmed his death.
Cormac McCarthy, known for his reclusive nature, intentionally avoided the spotlight so effectively that he wasn’t even famous for it, as one critic pointed out. However, in 2008, Joel and Ethan Coen’s adaptation of McCarthy’s 2005 novel “No Country for Old Men” briefly brought him into the limelight. This crime thriller, featuring stellar performances by Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin, achieved critical acclaim and went on to win several Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor.
McCarthy’s writing career started with the publication of his first novel, “The Orchard Keeper,” in 1965. However, it took several decades for him to find commercial success. It wasn’t until 1992 when his novel “All the Pretty Horses” won the National Book Award that his career began to gain momentum. The subsequent film adaptation in 2000 helped further elevate his status.
“Pretty Horses,” set in west Texas during the years 1949 to 1951, served as the opening installment of McCarthy’s Border Trilogy. This was followed by “The Crossing” in 1994 and “Cities of the Plain” in 1998. Unfortunately, the film adaptation of “Pretty Horses,” directed by Billy Bob Thornton and starring Matt Damon, Penelope Cruz, and Henry Thomas, received predominantly negative reviews upon its release.
Cormac McCarthy’s television work includes “The Gardener’s Son,” a two-hour episode of the PBS anthology series “Visions” in 1977. Directed by Richard Pearce, it featured Penelope Allen, Ned Beatty, and Kevin Conway. McCarthy adapted his own play from 2006 for the HBO telepic “The Sunset Limited” in 2011. Prior to filming, McCarthy collaborated with director Tommy Lee Jones during weeks of rehearsal, with Jones also starring alongside Samuel L. Jackson.
Critics described the adaptation as alternately claustrophobic, gritty, and light on plot since it takes place in a single room.
Additionally, McCarthy wrote the five-act play “The Stonemason,” which was first performed in 1995.
In 2022, McCarthy published two novels: “The Passenger” and “Stella Maris.”
Born as Charles McCarthy in Providence, R.I., he moved to Knoxville, Tenn., with his family at the age of 4. McCarthy pursued acting in high school and had an intermittent college experience at the University of Tennessee, where he studied liberal arts without earning a degree. During his time in the Air Force stationed in Alaska in the 1950s, he hosted a radio show.
McCarthy was married three times and has two sons. His first son, Cullen McCarthy, was born in 1962 to his first wife, Lee Holleman. He had his second son, John Francis McCarthy, in 1999 with his third wife, Jennifer Winkley. McCarthy divorced his second wife, Annie DeLisle, in 1981.