Lawrence Roman, 86, who was best known for writing the hit Broadway play

Under the Yum-Yum Tree

and for adapting the farce into the 1963 movie version, died last Sunday from a stroke in suburban Los Angeles.

In a screenwriting career that spanned 50 years, Mr. Roman wrote more than 20 films and teleplays, including a 1968 film adaptation of George Plimpton's Paper Lion and the original screenplay for McQ, a 1974 film starring John Wayne.

He also wrote a teleplay, The Ernest Green Story, that won a Peabody Award. The 1993 Disney Channel movie tells the true story of one of nine black students who integrated a high school in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957.

After Under the Yum-Yum Tree debuted on Broadway in 1960, the New York Times review said Mr. Roman had "a gift for keeping the dialogue lively" and praised actor Gig Young's portrayal of the lothario landlord.

When the play was in its third year at the Ivar Theater in Hollywood, the Los Angeles Times noted in 1963 that the five-person production had gone through five complete casts and launched more than a dozen film and TV careers.

"For the time, the play was very progressive since it showed an unmarried man and woman living together," said Mr. Roman's daughter Catherine. "It was very important to him to stay on top of what was current, socially and politically. That's what gave his career longevity as he aged."

- Los Angeles Times