Laird Koenig Dead: Writer of ‘Little Girl Who Lives Down Lane’ Was 95

Laird Koenig, who wrote “The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane,” died in Santa Barbara on June 30, Jamie Dixon, the son of Koenig’s collaborator Peter L. Dixon, told Variety. He was 95.

Koenig was an American author and screenwriter whose novel was adapted into the 1976 Jodie Foster-led horror movie “The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane.” 

He was born on Sept. 14, 1927, in Seattle, and would go on to attend the University of Washington. Koenig worked in advertising before being approached by Peter L. Dixon, whom he would collaborate with extensively throughout his career, and went on to write for the adventure television series “Flipper.” 

Koenig also wrote the screenplay for “The Cat” which starred Roger Perry, and the 1969 production of “The Dozens” which starred Al Freeman Jr., Morgan Freeman and Paula Kelly.

He notably wrote the screenplay for several Terence Young Films, including “Red Sun,” which starred Charles Bronson, “Bloodline,” which starred Audrey Hepburn, and “Inchon” with Ben Gazzara.

Several of his novels were adapted for the big screen, including his 1970 novel “The Children Are Watching,” which was turned into the 1978 “Attention Les Enfants Regardent,” the 1978 book “The Neighbor,” which became the 1982 film “Killing ‘Em Softly,” and the 1968 telefilm “Rockabye.”

His other novels include “Islands” (1980), “The Disciple” (1983), “The Sea Wife” (1986), “Rising Sun” (1986) and “Morning Sun: The Story of Madam Butterfly’s Boy” (2012). 

His further writing credits include films such as “Tennessee Waltz” and TV series including “The High Chaparral” and “Intrigues.” 

He is survived by his niece, Lisa, and his nephew, Mark. 

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