Although his most notable work is best classified as sci-fi/action, Michael Crichton was a novelist and screenwriter who commonly incorporated strong horror elements in his fiction. He also pioneered the subgenre of medical/technological horror with such books and screenplays as The Andromeda Strain and Westworld, and later Jurassic Park, Prey and Next, among others.
Crichton was among genre fiction's most influential and high-profile authors, with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Robert Wise, Barry Levinson and Jan de Bont among the directors who have adapted some 13 of his novels to the screen. Crichton was also an accomplished director himself, helming several films based on his own novels, as well as the 1978 movie Coma, based on the novel of another medical horror luminary, Robin Cook.
A former medical student himself, Crichton was also the creator of the hospital TV drama ER, now in its 15th and final season, and once the highest-rated hour-long on television.
Crichton died yesterday at the age of 66, after a long, private struggle with cancer.
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