Lynne Reid Banks | Children’s author known for her book “The Indian In The Cupboard” dies aged 94

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Known for her celebrated work “The Indian In The Cupboard,” British author Lynne Reid Banks has died at the age of 94

British author Lynne Reid Banks, celebrated for her contributions to children's literature including the beloved story "The Indian In The Cupboard," has passed away at 94 due to cancer.

Her literary agent, James Wills, confirmed her peaceful passing surrounded by family on Thursday afternoon to the PA news agency. "She leaves behind a massive legacy of wonderful work," her son Gillon Stephenson remarked, highlighting the profound impact of her stories, "Every day, I receive messages from people expressing the difference she has made in their lives."

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Born in West London in 1929, Reid Banks's life took a turn during World War II when she was evacuated to Saskatoon, Canada, with her family. Returning to England, she pursued an education at RADA drama school, later working as a secretary and a freelance journalist. Reid Banks's career took a notable path in 1955 when she became one of the first female news reporters on British TV for ITN, interviewing icons like Charlie Chaplin and Audrey Hepburn.

On her website, she recounted these years and how, during a break from journalism, she penned "The L-Shaped Room." The novel, about a young unmarried French woman navigating an unexpected pregnancy and finding love in a London boarding house, became an unexpected success and was adapted into a film. Leslie Caron's portrayal in the movie earned her an Oscar nomination, along with a BAFTA and a Golden Globe.

After moving to Israel in 1962 upon meeting her future husband, Liverpool-born sculptor Chaim Stephenson, Reid Banks returned to England in 1971. It was then she conceived the idea for "The Indian In The Cupboard," inspired by bringing a toy plastic American Indian to life. Released in 1980, the book spawned a series and was adapted into a 1995 film featuring Steve Coogan and Richard Jenkins.

Lynne Reid Banks's career spanned decades, during which she authored numerous stories for children, including "The Red Red Dragon," "Tiger Tiger," "Angela And Diabola," and the picture book "The Spice Rack."

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