Nicholas Evans, the much-loved writer of ‘The Horse Whisperer, is dead aged 72 after suffering a heart attack.
The author passed away on Tuesday but his death was not announced until Monday. (15.08.22)
His best-known work ‘The Horse Whisperer’ was turned into a film of the same name in 1998 and starred Robert Redford, Kristin Scott Thomas, Scarlett Johansson and Sam Neill.
Nicholas wrote the book – his first novel – in 1995 and it soared into The New York Times’ best sellers' top 10 that year.
It sold 15 million copies in total, making it one of the best-selling books of all time, and in 2003 was shortlisted on a poll of readers’ most-loved books.
Nicholas’ agent said in a statement announcing the author’s death: “United Agents are very sad to announce the sudden death of the celebrated best-selling author Nicholas Evans who died suddenly on Tuesday... following a heart attack, aged 72.”
Nicholas, born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, in 1950, worked as journalist during the 1970s on the Evening Chronicle newspaper in Newcastle-upon-Tyne before he moved into broadcasting.
He specialised in US politics and foreign affairs and covered the war in Beirut before he sold ‘The Horse Whisperer’, which tells of teenager Grace (played by Scarlett Johansson in the film) who is traumatised by a riding accident that badly injures her horse.
Her mother Annie, a New York magazine editor portrayed by Kristin Scott Thomas, realises Grace will only recover once the horse is healed.
She takes them both to a secluded Montana ranch, where ‘horse whisperer’ Tom Booker (Robert Redford) begins to heal the horse, and “stirs long-dormant feelings in Annie that lead her to question her marriage and choice of career”.
Nicholas, who wrote four other books, later moved to Devon where he lived with his singer-songwriter wife Charlotte Gordon Cumming, 64, who wrote the Sugabes’ ‘Soul Sound’.
Several family members of the writer’s, including he and his wife, were infamously poisoned in 2008 after accidentally eating deadly webcap mushrooms, which they had gathered on holiday in Scotland after mistaking the as edible.
They all had to have kidney dialysis to recover from the toxins, with Nicholas requiring a transplant in 2011 using a kidney donated by his daughter.
He had three children – son Max Evans, who is a head of geography at a high school, as well as daughter Lauren, who gave him one of her kidneys, and another son, Harry, from a relationship he had with Jane Hewland, a TV producer best known for ‘Network 7’ and ‘GamesMaster’.