Robert Merle, who won France’s highest literary honor and wrote the novel that inspired Mike Nichols’ movie “The Day of the Dolphin,” has died. He was 95.
Merle died Saturday at his home in the Yvelines region outside Paris, his publisher, Editions de Fallois, said.
His first novel, “Week-end a Zuydcoote,” (“Weekend in Zuydcoote”) was set during the Allied forces’ evacuation from Dunkirk during World War II. It won the 1949 Goncourt, the country’s most prestigious literary award, and was later made into a movie starring Jean-Paul Belmondo.
Another novel, “Un Animal douÃ© de raison,” (“The Day of the Dolphin”), inspired Nichols’ 1973 film starring George C. Scott as a scientist who trains talking dolphins.0