John Le Carré Remembered: Gary Oldman, Stephen King And Others Pay Tribute To Celebrated Spy Novelist

Various figures from Hollywood and media took to social media to pay tribute to iconic spy novelist John le Carré, who died at the age of 89 from pneumonia on Saturday night.

Oscar-winning actor Gary Oldman, who starred as George Smiley in the 2011 adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy directed by Tomas Alfredson, honored the writer in a statement given to Deadline. “For me, John Le Carre’ was many things,” said Oldman. “He was, of course, a very great author, the true ‘owner’ of the serious, adult, complicated spy novel—he actually owned the genre. All who follow are in his debt.”

He continued, “His characters were drawn deftly and deeply, nuances too many to count, and for me, inhabiting George Smiley remains one of the highpoints of my life. I got to know David a little bit, over conversations, lunches, and his visit to the set. Amazingly, he was always at the other end of the phone if we had a question, or needed a line or to confirm if a character might say something specific. He always had immediate answers. He was generous with his creativity, and always a true gentleman. The true Spy Master of several generations has left us. But George Smiley and the others live on. Thank you David.”

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Fellow author Stephen King took to Twitter to praise le Carré as a “literary giant and a humanitarian spirit.” Dan Rather tweeted, “No writer captured the cloak and dagger subterfuge of the Cold War better than John Le Carré. I interviewed him for 60 Minutes over 30 years ago, and I remember a sharp mind and penetrating eyes. His work will be read for generations. May he rest in peace.”

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