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‘First Wives Club’ author Olivia Goldsmith dies at 54

Death caused by complications from plastic surgery
/ Source: The Associated Press

Olivia Goldsmith, a best-selling novelist whose book “First Wives Club” was made into a movie starring Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton, has died. She was 54.

Goldsmith had been in a coma since last Wednesday after complications resulting from anesthesia during plastic surgery, according to her lawyer, Steven Mintz. She died at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan on Thursday, he said.

Goldsmith was a management consultant who became one of the first women to be a partner at the firm Booz Allen Hamilton before she began writing her distinctive edgy, humorous fiction.

Her debut novel, in 1992, was “First Wives Club,” the tale of three women whose husbands leave them for younger partners. The movie of the same name came out in 1996.

Among her other novels were “The Bestseller,” “Flavor of the Month,” “Young Wives,” and “Switcheroo.”

“She wrote these wonderful, celebratory satires, which seamlessly wove her moral convictions and instruction into these popular entertainments,” her literary agent, Nicholas Ellison, told The New York Times for its Friday editions.

She was born Randy Goldfield in New York City. She changed her legal name to Justine Rendal and wrote under the pen name of Olivia Goldsmith. She grew up in Dumont, N.J. and attended New York University.

She is survived by her mother, and two sisters, Kate Goldfield and Barbara Turner.