John Updike

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist John Updike, a literary legend whose novel The Witches of Eastwick was adapted into a hit 1987 film starring Jack Nicholson, has died. He was 76.

Updike was most celebrated for his five Rabbit novels, which chronicled the life and death of a former high school basketball player. He won the Pulitzer for two of his Rabbit books, Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest, and his Rabbit, Run became a 1970 film starring James Caan.

His latest novel, The Widows of Eastwick, was released last year. Earlier this week, ABC ordered a pilot based on the original Eastwick book and the film, which also starred Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer.

The third time may be the charm: the book and film inspired unsuccessful TV pilots in 1992 and 2002.

Updike died in hospice care in Massachusetts, his publisher said. He had suffered from lung cancer.