Michael Crichton Passes Away (1942-2008)

The best-selling author, screenwriter, and director died Tuesday.

by | November 5, 2008 | Comments

Randall Michelson/WireImage.com

Best-selling author, screenwriter, and director Michael Crichton has passed away at the age of 66. The medical doctor-turned-filmmaker was best known for writing techno-thrillers (The Andromeda Strain, Westworld, Jurassic Park) and for creating the award-winning medical drama ER, now in its 15th and final season.

According to reports, Crichton died suddenly Tuesday in Los Angeles after a private battle with cancer. In a message posted to his official website, representatives of Crichton’s family released a statement, excerpted below:

“While the world knew him as a great story teller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us — and entertained us all while doing so — his wife Sherri, daughter Taylor, family and friends knew Michael Crichton as a devoted husband, loving father and generous friend who inspired each of us to strive to see the wonders of our world through new eyes. He did this with a wry sense of humor that those who were privileged to know him personally will never forget.”

Perhaps best known for writing best-selling science fiction novels like The Andromeda Strain, Congo, Sphere, Rising Sun, Jurassic Park and its sequel, The Lost World (all of which were adapted into big-budget blockbusters), Crichton also wrote original screenplays and directed his own films. His 1973 science fiction-western Westworld (90 percent on the Tomatometer), directed from his own script, remains Crichton’s best-reviewed film to date. His next two directorial efforts, 1978’s Coma (76 percent, adapted and directed from a novel by Robin Cook) and 1979’s The Great Train Robbery (78 percent, adapted and directed from his own novel), also rank among the best films written by Crichton or adapted from any of his works, ranking above films directed by the likes of Oscar-winner Robert Wise (The Andromeda Strain), Barry Levinson (Sphere), Frank Marshall (Congo), Philip Kaufman (Rising Sun), Jan de Bont (Twister), and John McTiernan (The 13th Warrior, based on his novel Eaters of the Dead).

At the time of his death, two new projects based on Crichton’s works were rumored to be in development: Jurassic Park IV and Westworld, a remake to be scripted by Billy Ray (Volcano, Flightplan).

Head over to Michael Crichton’s Tomatometer page for a detailed filmography and more.

Tag Cloud

Mystery Emmys science fiction crime thriller social media travel Interview crime Toys transformers BBC DirecTV Infographic TV Land Musical Universal Polls and Games Set visit DC Universe Adult Swim The Arrangement Fall TV FXX NYCC Sundance APB Election Animation Summer E! SundanceTV Calendar The CW Cartoon Network harry potter cooking TCM thriller Year in Review Comic Book Nat Geo Star Trek adventure CBS Netflix sports Rom-Com sitcom CBS All Access BET boxoffice Drama 2016 OWN cinemax Pop FX NBC Photos zombie AMC Syfy Amazon Cosplay docudrama TBS 2015 Showtime politics diversity Dark Horse Comics Fox News WGN Kids & Family Valentine's Day Best and Worst TLC cops BBC America Winners Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Tumblr Rock Trailer USA Spring TV Super Bowl ABC Family Freeform Nickelodeon discovery political drama Starz IFC TV singing competition Countdown 45 Esquire Certified Fresh LGBTQ PBS Country cats Sneak Peek Biopics Mindy Kaling DC Comics crime drama Video Games Reality President Box Office El Rey Awards Logo Masterpiece Comedy Superheroes First Look TruTV CMT Watching Series 24 frames Horror MTV Pirates GLAAD vampires ITV PaleyFest X-Men technology Winter TV Disney Channel Holidays MSNBC ABC Music Grammys Fantasy biography CNN YA Tomatazos Character Guide based on movie Ghostbusters ESPN 2017 Musicals Schedule Oscars TCA 2017 American Society of Cinematographers Thanksgiving Mary Tyler Moore Ellie Kemper E3 Red Carpet Marvel Disney historical drama Premiere Dates Star Wars Martial Arts serial killer 007 composers TNT GIFs Lifetime Marathons FOX war HBO Hulu Teen Comedy Central TCA Action aliens VICE psycho Podcast Bravo supernatural Reality Competition Lionsgate Extras GoT VH1 History police drama Opinion Warner Bros. talk show TIFF Nominations RT History SDCC Food Network Sci-Fi Paramount Rocky A&E Trivia dramedy Crackle comiccon period drama Writers Guild of America