Nicholas Evans, author of bestselling novel The Horse Whisperer, dies aged 72

Author of novel Horse Whisperer has died aged 72

The author of the best-selling novel The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans, has died at the age of 72.

Mr Evans died after suffering a heart attack on Tuesday (August 9).

United Agents, who represented Mr Evans, said he was a "much-loved" writer who "lived a full and happy life, in his home on the banks of the River Dart in Devon".

Originally from Bromgrove in Worcestershire, Mr Evans sold over 15 million copies worldwide of his debut novel The Horse Whisperer.

Published in 1995, The Horse Whisperer was Evans’ debut novel and follows a complex and talented trainer who is hired to help an injured teenager and her horse back to health after a severe injury.

It has been translated into 40 languages and was made into a film, starring, produced by and directed by Robert Redford.

Nicholas Evans Credit: Nicholas Evans wordpress

The story was adapted for the big screen in 1998 by Hollywood star Robert Redford, who starred as the title character, with Scarlett Johansson playing young rider Grace MacLean in her breakout role.

The novelist, who was also an award-winning documentary-maker, went on to write four more bestselling novels: The Loop, The Smoke Jumper, The Divide and The Brave.

Born in 1950 in Worcestershire, Evans later studied law at Oxford University and was also a journalist, working on the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle.

He specialised in US politics and foreign affairs and spent time covering the war in Beirut

By the 1980s he was at London Weekend Television, producing films on Sir Laurence Olivier, Francis Bacon and David Hockney for The South Bank Show.

After developing his skills as a screenwriter with projects starring Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Sir Ian Holm and more, he began work on his debut novel, The Horse Whisperer.