Audrey Wells, whose scripts ran the gamut from Disney kids’ fare, to romantic comedies, to socially charged YA adaptations, has died. According to Deadline, Wells—whose latest film, George Tillman Jr.’s adaptation of Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, opens in select theaters tonight—had been suffering from cancer for several years, and was 58.
Born in San Francisco, Wells got her start as a radio DJ, hosting experience which might have bled into one of her biggest hits, 1996 Cyrano riff The Truth About Cats And Dogs. A staple of the rom-com genre, Truth stars Janeane Garafalo as a a call-in-show host who asks a more conventionally attractive friend (Uma Thurman) to go on a blind date with a caller on her behalf. Romance was often the topic of Wells’ scripts, plus other aspects of her professional career: Her two directorial efforts, 1999's Guinevere and 2003's Under The Tuscan Sun, both concerned themselves with matters of the human heart.
Meanwhile, she was also capable of lighter fare, too, writing Disney’s Bruce Willis vehicle The Kid, and Brendan Fraser’s affable George Of The Jungle movie. (Speaking of talking animals, she also penned last year’s A Dog’s Purpose.) The Hate U Give was her latest project, and one of the most high-profile of her career, as she worked to translate Thomas’ tale of a young black woman trying to find her way in a cruel, prejudiced world to the screen.
Wells is survived by her daughter and husband, who issued a statement on her behalf earlier today:
Over the last five and half years, Audrey fought valiantly against her illness and she died surrounded by love. Even during her fight, she never stopped living, working or traveling, and she never lost her joy, wonder and optimism. She was, simply, the most incredible wife and partner imaginable, and she knew always that she was loved by Tatiana, me, and the friends who were her chosen family. She said just recently, ‘We’re so lucky, honey. We got to live a love story. Who gets to do that?’ We will carry her forward with us forever—as a mother, as a wife, as an artist and creator, and as a friend. She was irreplaceable.