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George Gipe, 53; Comedy Screenwriter, Novelist

September 10, 1986

Comedy screenwriter and novelist George Gipe, who collaborated on Steve Martin movies such as "The Man With Two Brains" and "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," is dead at the age of 53.

Gipe collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack shortly after suffering a bee sting Saturday at his Glendale home. His son, Larry, said it was not known whether his father was allergic to bee venom.

A native of Baltimore, Gipe got his start in show business as a cameraman and set and production manager at WJZ-TV in his hometown. He later became a free-lance writer, publishing articles in the the Sun and Evening Sun of Baltimore, Sports Illustrated and Mad magazines.

Gipe later returned to television as a staffer at WMAR-TV in Baltimore, winning awards for documentaries and local programming. He also was motion picture critic for Baltimore Magazine.

He left Baltimore to work here with Carl Reiner and Steve Martin on the two Martin comedies. At the time of his death, he was working on two screenplays for the "NBC Movie of the Week."

Gipe wrote several movie-to-book novels, including "Gremlins," "Back to the Future" and "Melvin and Howard." He also was the author of an original novel, "Coney Island Quickstep," and at least two reference books, "The Great American Sports Book" and "The Last Time When."

He is survived by another son, George David, of Pennsylvania.

Memorial services are pending.

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