Bestselling author, scriptwriter and director Michael Crichton is dead at age 66 after a "private battle with cancer."
Crichton used his scientific background, which included Harvard Medical School, to create believable thrillers where technology grows beyond man's ability to control it. His first big hit was the 1969 book and 1971 movie "Andromeda Strain," where an alien virus brought back from space threatens man's existence. (A new version of this was just released on DVD).
Other scenarios faced by his characters included dinosaurs cloned from DNA ("Jurassic Park"), super-intelligent gorillas ("Congo"), sexual harrassment ("Disclosure"), genetic mutation ("Next"), intelligent predatory molecules ("Prey"), an alien spaceship on the ocean floor ("Sphere"), Japanese techno-dominance ("Rising Sun"), (fear of environmental calamity ("State of Fear"), time travel to 14th Century France ("Timeline"), and a super tornado ("Twister"). Most of his books have been made into blockbuster movies. He was also the creator and driving spirit behind the very successful medical series ER.
Anyone who reads or watches movies will miss this incredibly talented man who combined contemporary science with fiction, always asking what if.......