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How Did Truman Capote Die? The Details Behind His Death

Truman Capote died on Aug. 25, 1984, which is portrayed on FX's 'Feud: Capote vs. The Swans'

<p>Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank, FX</p> Truman Capote and Tom Hollander as Truman Capote on Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans

Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank, FX

Truman Capote and Tom Hollander as Truman Capote on Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans

The story of Truman Capote is concluding with the Feud: Capote vs. The Swans finale.

The Ryan Murphy series, which premiered on Jan. 31, follows the rise and fall of the famed author (played by Tom Hollander) after he penned an exposé about his famous friends, whom he called the Swans.

Though his novel Answered Prayers was “fictionalized,” it included many striking secrets about his friends, including infidelity and murder accusations.

Following the irrevocable fallout with his friends, Capote's health declined as he struggled with addiction and went in and out of rehabilitation clinics in the 1970s.

As shown on the series, Capote died in 1984, about nine years after excerpts of Answered Prayers were published. The remainder of the novel, titled Answered Prayers: The Unfinished Novel, was published in 1986 in the U.K. after his death and in 1987 in the U.S.

Here’s everything to know about Capote’s death.

How did Truman Capote die?

<p>Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty</p>

Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty

Capote’s increased drug and alcohol use eventually led to his death in 1984, with his official death certificate declaring the cause as “liver disease complicated by phlebitis and multiple drug intoxication,” per The New York Times.

Coroner's officials clarified to the publication that his death was not from a drug overdose, though he did have several drugs in his system.

''He essentially died from natural causes,'' coroner's spokesman Bill Gold told The New York Times. ''Toxicological findings in the case showed that Mr. Capote had consumed only prescribed medications for sleep, anxiety, leg pains and epileptic seizures.”

“No alcohol was detected,” Gold added. “The drug levels, although contributory, were not lethal and indicated regular usage in accordance with his past medical history. Had he not had the health problems, the medications would not have been a contributory problem.''

Toxicological tests found barbiturates, Valium, anti-seizure drugs and painkillers in his system. All of them were “medicines prescribed for the novelist,” per the publication.

When did Truman Capote die?

Capote died on Aug. 25, 1984.

Where did Truman Capote die?

<p>Getty</p>

Getty

He died in Bel Air, Los Angeles at the home of Joanne Carson, the ex-wife of Johnny Carson. The two had become close friends following Joanne’s divorce from Johnny in 1972 and Capote began staying at her home as a guest a few days before his death.

How old was Truman Capote when he died?

Capote was 59 years old when he died. His death occurred about one month before his 60th birthday on Sept. 30.

What were Truman Capote’s final words?

<p>Jack Mitchell/Getty </p>

Jack Mitchell/Getty

In episode 7 of Feud: Capote vs. The Swans, Capote hallucinates seeing Babe Paley, who died from lung cancer on July 6, 1978, before uttering his final words, “Beautiful Babe.”

In reality, however, it’s unclear what Capote’s final words were. According to Joanne, in Capote’s final moments, he spoke of his mother before saying “Beautiful Babe” and “Answered Prayers,” as reported by Vanity Fair. She then called paramedics for assistance, but by the time they arrived, Truman was dead.

Where is Truman Capote buried?

Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty
Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Following his death, Capote was cremated and his remains were divided between Joanne and Jack Dunphy, with Joanne keeping his urn in the room where he died.

In 1988, Capote’s ashes were stolen during a Halloween party at Joanne’s home, though they were returned shortly after.

After the Halloween party incident, Joanne acquired a crypt at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park. Author Laurence Leamer previously recalled to PEOPLE that Joanne put a portion of his ashes in the crypt (mixed with a portion of her dog’s ashes), where they remain today next to Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood and more.

Joanne later died in 2015 at 83 and the following year the remainder of Capote's ashes were sold for $43,750 to an anonymous bidder by Julien's Auctions.

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