02/09/1999 AT 12:00 AM EST
Private funeral services were held in New York Monday for Mario Puzo, who won two Oscars for his adaptation of his best-selling novel "The Godfather." The writer died of heart failure Friday. He was 78 and had just completed "Omerta," the third book in his Mafia trilogy, said Neil Olson, his literary agent. That book will be published posthumously next spring. Puzo is survived by his children, Anthony, Dorothy, Eugene, Virginia and Joseph; a sister, Evelyn Murphy, and brother, Anthony Cleri; his companion of 20 years, Carol Gino; and nine grandchildren.
- Plans for "The Godfather IV," announced only last week, seem to have faded away, reports Variety. With Puzo's death and Francis Coppola (who directed the three previous "Godfather" movies) claiming no interest in continuing the story, the project's future is dim. Besides, Leonardo DiCaprio, announced as the star of "IV," is now said to be involved in preparing a biopic of eccentric aviator and industrialist Howard Hughes.