It's no surprise then that seven of his books were adapted to film, starring some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz and Al Pacino.
Roth died Tuesday at age 85. The author of more than 25 books, he leaves behind an incredible storytelling legacy in both words and pictures. Below are the seven films based on Roth's works.Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85
'Goodbye, Columbus'Paramount PicturesGoodbye, Columbus movie from 1969 is based on the novella of the same name by Philip Roth.
Roth's breakout 1959 novella "Goodbye, Columbus," was also the first of his works to be adapted to the big screen. In the 1969 film, Richard Benjamin and Ali McGraw, appearing in her first major role, play a young couple who embark on a doomed romance. The film received both critical acclaim and several awards, including the Oscar for best screenplay adaptation.
Benjamin returned for this 1972 adaptation of Roth's 1969 novel of the same name. This time he plays a lustful young Jewish bachelor who struggles with his overbearing mother. The film failed with critics and at the box office.
'The Human Stain'MiramaxAnthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman in the 2003 movie, 'The Human Stain'.
Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman star in this 2003 adaptation about an African American man who has "passed" as a white Jewish man for most of his adult life and the semi-literate woman who becomes his lover. Despite its illustrious cast, the film received mixed reviews.
'Elegy' (adapted from 'The Dying Animal')Samuel Goldwyn FilmsBen Kingsley and Penelope Cruz in the 2008 movie, 'Elegy'.
Based on Roth's 2001 novella "The Dying Animal," the film centers on a professor, played by Ben Kingsley, who begins a relationship with a much younger student, played by Penelope Cruz. The 2008 film received mostly favorable reviews.
'The Humbling'Millennium FilmsThe Humbling starring Al Pacino is based on the 2009 novel The Humbling by Philip Roth.
Al Pacino plays an older actor in decline in this adaptation of Roth's 2009 novel. It also stars Greta Gerwig, Kyra Sedgwick and Dianne Wiest. The 2014 film received mixed reviews.
'Indignation'Summit EntertainmentIndignation is a 2016 American drama film written, produced, and directed by James Schamus. The film, based on the 2008 novel of the same name by Philip Roth.
This 2016 adaption of Roth's 2008 novel stars Logan Lerman as a principled young college student who gets involved with a troubled girl, played by Sarah Gadon, and ends up dying in the Korean War. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was widely praised by critics.
'American Pastoral'LionsgateAmerican Pastoral is a 2016 American crime-drama film directed by Ewan McGregor and written by John Romano, based on the 1997 novel of the same name by Philip Roth.
Ewan McGregor made his directorial debut and also stars in this 2016 adaptation of Roth's 1997 novel of the same name, in which a successful Jewish American businessman searches for his daughter, played by Dakota Fanning, after she becomes an anti-Vietnam War radical. The film, which also stars Jennifer Connelly, failed with critics and at the box office.