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Luther Davis, author of 'Kismet,' dies

NEW YORK, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Luther Davis, who wrote the book for the musical "Kismet" and 15 movie screenplays, has died at the age of 91 in New York.

His wife, Jennifer Bassey Davis, confirmed his death to The New York Times. Davis divided his time between New York and West Palm Beach, Fla.

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A Yale graduate, Davis served in the Army Air Force in World War II, ending his service as a major. His first screenplay, "The Hucksters," starring Clark Gable and Deborah Kerr, was a romance set in the advertising business and was released in 1947.

Davis was probably best known for collaborating with Charles Lederer on "Kismet," a musical set in Baghdad and using music by Alexander Borodin. The musical played on Broadway for 583 performances and was made into a movie. Davis and Lederer won Tony Awards.

In addition to his screenplays and theater scripts, Davis wrote for television.

Davis, whose first marriage produced two daughters and ended in divorce, met his second wife in 1978 when she invested in "Timbuktu!" which transferred "Kismet" to Africa. The couple lived together for many years before marrying in 2005.

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