Eve Babitz, a writer and closely identified future âitâ girl in the 1960s and early 1970s in Los Angeles, has died at age 78.
Relatives have confirmed his death on social media and the Associated Press, but have not specified a cause.
Half wild child of the West Coast, half bohemian intellectual, Eve once described herself as “an eighteen year old blonde on Sunset Boulevardâ¦ who is also a writer”. A famous 1963 image shows her playing chess against Dadaist artist and writer Marcel Duchamp, with Babitz completely naked and Duchamp fully dressed.
As a writer and creative muse, Babitz had a far-reaching impact, drawing comparisons to Joan Didion, who recommended a piece of hers to Rolling Stone, thus kicking off her writing career. . She also ventured outside the world of letters, designing album covers for Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds and Linda Ronstadt. She had romantic ties to such figures as The Doors’ Jim Morrison, Harrison Ford, Steve Martin, artist Ed Ruscha, and music industry mogul Ahmet Ertegun.
Babitz grew up immersed in LA culture, pop and in between. Her father was a violinist in the Twentieth Century Fox Orchestra and her mother was an artist. His godfather was Igor Stravinsky, according to the AP obituary. In Hollywood High School, her classmates included Linda Evans and Tuesday Weld.
In the last years of her life, Babitz became more reclusive, in part due to severe burns she suffered after accidentally dropping a lit cigar onto her skirt while driving in 1997. Her reputation soared skyrocketed over the past decade, however, with Harper’s Bazaar two years ago, declaring Babitz “an unlikely icon for millennial women.”
In 2017, Sony’s Hulu and TriStar Television developed the coming-of-age comedy Wife, a single camera show from Casual executive producer / showrunner Liz Tigelaar. It was based on Babitz’s four books, the Hollywood of Eve; Slow days, fast business; Sex and rage; and Wife. Amy Pascal and Elizabeth Cantillon were among its producers and the late Lynn Shelton was lined up to direct.