Pekar had a history of prostate cancer, asthma, blood pressure and depression that was well documented in his work. The Associated Press is reporting that Harvey Pekar, the legendary comic writer and unexpected movie star, was found dead at his Cleveland home early Monday morning. He was 70.
Pekar had a history of prostate cancer, asthma, blood pressure and depression that was well documented in his work.
Pekar achieved fame as the author of the underground comic book series 'American Splendor.' Beginning in 1976, the autobiographical series chronicled Pekar's daily frustrations and growing fame, as well as offering grander ruminations on all of life's complexities. 'Splendor' featured many artists over its duration, including fellow underground legend -- and documentary subject -- R. Crumb. Pekar parlayed his work into multiple appearances on 'Late Night With David Letterman' in the '80s before his eccentric and acerbic personality got him banned from the show.
In 2003, 'American Splendor' was adapted into a feature-film starring Paul Giamatti as Pekar. The film -- an oddball mix of biopic, documentary and animated comic strips -- showcased the real-life Pekar and his family. It went on to win the Grand Jury Dramatic Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at that year's Academy Awards. One of the film's most notable story-lines was his difficult, but ultimately successful fight with cancer. Watch a clip from 'American Splendor' below --