LOS ANGELES (CBSLA)  —  Bestselling author Judith Krantz, whose novels of steamy sex and shameless materialism sold millions of copies in her heyday in the 1980s and ’90s, has died at the age of 91, publicist John Tellem said Sunday.

Krantz died from natural causes Saturday “surrounded by family, friends and her four dogs at her Bel Air home,” Tellem said.

Born in New York City, Krantz worked as a fashion publicist in Paris before returning to New York and embarking on a career in magazine journalism.

She worked for Good Housekeeping, McCalls, Ladies Home Journal and Cosmopolitan over a career that spanned decades.

Her initial splash in the world of fiction came with the publication of her debut novel, “Scruples,” in the late 1970s. The book eventually reached the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List.

Many more successful novels followed, including “Princess Daisy” (1980), “Mistral’s Daughter” (1982), “Till We Meet Again” (1988), “Lovers” (1994) and her final novel, “The Jewels of Tessa Kent” in 1998.

Krantz’s books focused on tough-but-glamorous women who pursued the good life with verve, both professionally and personally.

In 2000, she wrote an autobiography, “Sex and Shopping: The Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl.”

Seven of Krantz’s 10 novels were adapted for television as miniseries, with her husband Steve Krantz serving as executive producer for many of them. “Scruples” was produced over the years at least three times.

She also wrote one original miniseries for television, Judith Krantz’s “Secrets,” in 1992.

Steve Krantz died in 2007. The couple were married for 53 years.

More than 80 million copies of Krantz’s books are in print in over 50 languages.

Krantz — born Judith Bluma-Gittel Tarcher — is survived by her son, Tony, daughter-in-law Kristin Dornig Krantz, and son Nicholas.

Tellem said that in lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to: The Library Foundation of Los Angeles, 630 West 5th St., Los Angeles, CA 90071.


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