Michael Crichton, 66: Author/Filmmaker

Iconic American author Michael Crichton died unexpectedly in Los Angeles on November 4, 2008. He was 66-years-old. His death followed a private battle with cancer and shocked fans worldwide. He is survived by wife Sherri and daughter Taylor.

In addition to family and friends, Crichton leaves behind a long legacy of influential writing and filmmaking. Best known for books such as The Great Train Robbery, Sphere and Congo, Crichton was the author of almost 30 fiction and non-fiction books. He began his writing career in 1966 under the pen names John Lange and Jeffery Hudson.

Crichton also boasted a very successful TV and film career, acting as writer, director and producer on several projects. This included the creation of the long-running NBC series ER, which is based on his own time as a doctor. Thirteen of Crichton’s books have been adapted into films and mini-series, including 1993’s Steven Spielberg blockbuster hit Jurassic Park.

Crichton’s final untitled book is scheduled to be released posthumously on May 4, 2009.

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