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

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