Dr. Theodore Rubin, a psychoanalyst and a prolific writer whose short novel “Lisa and David,” about two teenagers finding love at a therapeutic school, was made into an Academy Award-nominated movie, and who became the public face of psychotherapy in postwar American popular culture, died Saturday in a nursing home in New York City. He was 95.
His son Dr. Jeffrey Rubin confirmed the death.
Rubin, a psychiatrist who spent most of his long career in private practice in Manhattan, was a young analyst in the late 1950s when he found his calling: He wrote a novella about a troubled boy, based in part on a child being assisted by his wife, a special-education teacher. He followed that book, “Jordi,” with “Lisa and David,” which examined the inner lives of two young people with severe mental distress.
“Lisa and David” was made into the popular 1962 movie “David and Lisa,” directed by Frank Perry and starring Keir Dullea and Janet Margolin, with Howard da Silva as a psychiatrist. The two names were switched to avoid confusion with another movie of the time called simply “Lisa.”
Perry was nominated for an Oscar as best director. Eleanor Perry, his wife at the time, was nominated for the screenplay.
Oprah Winfrey produced a television drama of the same name in 1998, based on the original screenplay, with Lukas Haas, Brittany Murphy and Sidney Poitier.
Rubin went on to write some 30 books, fiction, nonfiction and self-help. He had a regular column in Ladies’ Home Journal and often appeared on TV to discuss mental health, therapy and people’s daily emotional struggles.
Theodore Isaac Rubin was born in Brooklyn on April 11, 1923.