After graduating from the Harvard Medical School, Michael Crichton embarked on a career as a writer and filmmaker. Called "the father of the techno-thriller," his novels include The Andromeda Strain, Congo, Jurassic Park , and Timeline. He has also written four books of non-fiction, including Five Patients, Travels, and Jasper Johns .
He has sold over 100 million books and his books have been translated into thirty languages and twelve have been made into films. He is also the creator of the television series ER. He is the only person to have had, at the same time, the number one book, the number one movie, and the number one TV show in the United States.
Always interested in computers, Crichton ran a software company, FilmTrack, which developed computer programs for motion picture production in the 1980s; for this pioneering work he won an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Technical Achievement Award in 1995. His film Westworld was first feature film to employ computer-generated special effects.
Crichton has won an Emmy, a Peabody, and a Writer's Guild of America award for ER. In 2003, a newly-discovered armored dinosaur was named for him: Crichtonsaurus bohlini. Crichton was named one of the "Fifty Most Beautiful People" by People magazine in 1992, but, he observes, never again. He is divorced and lives in Los Angeles.
CRICHTON, (John) Michael. American. Born in Chicago, Illinois, October 23, 1942. Educated at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, A.B. (summa cum laude) 1964 (Phi Beta Kappa). Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology at Cambridge University, England, 1965. Henry Russell Shaw Travelling Fellow, 1964-65. Entered Harvard Medical School, M.D. 1969; spent one year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, La Jolla, California 1969-1970. Visiting Writer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1988.
Awards: Recipient of Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allan Poe Award, 1968 ("A Case of Need", written under pseudonym Jeffery Hudson); and 1980 ("The Great Train Robbery"). Association of American Medical Writers Award, 1970 ("Five Patients"); Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Technical Achievement Award, 1995 ("for pioneering computerized motion picture budgeting and scheduling") George Foster Peabody Award, 1995 (for "ER"), Writer's Guild of America Award, Best Long Form Television Script of 1995 (for "ER"); Emmy, Best Dramatic Series, 1996 (for "ER"). New ankylosaurus species Crichtonsaurus bohlini, 2000. Recipient of Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allan Poe Award, 1968 ("A Case of Need", written under pseudonym Jeffery Hudson); and 1980 ("The Great Train Robbery"). Association of American Medical Writers Award, 1970 ("Five Patients"); Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Technical Achievement Award, 1995 ("for pioneering computerized motion picture budgeting and scheduling") George Foster Peabody Award, 1995 (for "ER"), Writer's Guild of America Award, Best Long Form Television Script of 1995 (for "ER"); Emmy, Best Dramatic Series, 1996 (for "ER").
Associations: Member of Author's Guild, Writers Guild of America, (West), Directors Guild of America, P.E.N. America Center, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Phi Beta Kappa. Board of Directors, International Design Conference at Aspen, 1985-91; Board of Trustees, Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, La Jolla, 1986- 91. Board of Overseers, Harvard University, 1990-96; Author's Guild Council, 1995-
References: Contemporary Authors, 1971-; Who's Who in America, 1974-; Current Biography, April 1976; Film Encyclopedia, 1979-; International Motion Picture Almanac, 1996; International Television & Video Almanac, 1996.
THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, Knopf, 1969
THE TERMINAL MAN, Knopf, 1972
THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY, Knopf, 1975
EATERS OF THE DEAD, Knopf, 1976
CONGO, Knopf, 1980
SPHERE, Knopf, 1987
JURASSIC PARK, Knopf, 1990
RISING SUN, Knopf, 1992
DISCLOSURE, Knopf, 1994
THE LOST WORLD, Knopf, 1995
AIRFRAME, Knopf, 1996
TIMELINE, Knopf, 1999
PREY, Harper Collins, 2002
FIVE PATIENTS: The Hospital Explained, Knopf, 1970
JASPER JOHNS, Abrams, 1977
ELECTRONIC LIFE, Knopf, 1983
TRAVELS, Knopf, 1988
JASPER JOHNS (revised edition), Abrams, 1994
WESTWORLD, Bantam Books, 1975
TWISTER (with Anne-Marie Martin), Ballantine Books, 1996
PURSUIT, ABC Movie of the Week, 1972. (Director)
WESTWORLD, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1973. (Writer/Director)
COMA, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1978. (Writer/Director)
THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY, United Artists, 1979. (Writer/Director)
LOOKER, The Ladd Company, 1981. (Writer/Director)
RUNAWAY, Tri-Star Pictures, 1984. (Writer/Director)
PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, Columbia Pictures, 1989. (Director)
JURASSIC PARK, Universal, 1993 (Co-writer)
RISING SUN, Twentieth Century Fox, 1993 (Co-writer)
DISCLOSURE, Warner Brothers, 1994 (Co-producer)
TWISTER, Warner Brothers/Universal, 1996 (Co-writer, Co-producer)
SPHERE, Warner Brothers, 1998 (Co-producer)
13th WARRIOR, Touchstone, 1999 (Co-producer)
Other Films From Crichton's Books
THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, Universal, 1971
THE CAREY TREATMENT, MGM, 1972
DEALING: OR THE BERKLEY TO BOST0N FORTY-BRICK LOST BAG BLUES, Warner Bros, 1972
THE TERMINAL MAN, Warner Bros, 1974
CONGO, Paramount, 1995
LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK, Universal, 1997
TIMELINE, Paramount, 2003
ER, NBC, 1994 Creator, (co-exec. producer)
AMAZON, Tellarium, 1982
TIMELINE, Eidos, 2000
I'm sure you've been asked this question a million times, but how and why, having gotten your degree as a medical doctor, did you end up writing and directing films? Well, it does seem strange, but I think it's what I always wanted to do. The only other doctor I know of who's done the same thing, Jonathon Miller, has said something which I think if true -- namely, that being a doctor is good preparation for this, because it teaches you to deal with the kind of life that you will inevitably have. It teaches you to work well when you haven't had enough sleep. It teaches you to work well when you're on your feet a lot. It teaches you to work well with technical problems and it teaches you to make decisions and then live by them. I think it also has advantages in working with actors, because one of the things a doctor has to learn is to be able to meet a patient whom he has never seen before and rapidly assess him in terms of what kind of person he is, and not merely whether he's perforated his ulcer. You've got to be able to analyze just what kind of person you're dealing with. Are you dealing with someone who will take medicines if you prescribe them -- or is he the kind of person who says he will, but won't? Those decisions get to be very important and training to be a doctor builds up that capability for assessing people rapidily which is necessary when it come to working with actors. I'm not quite sure just how the transition from medicine to movies came about, except, as I've said, that I think I've always wanted to make movies. When I got into medicine, I was disappointed in a lot of ways, so it was a pull from one direction and a push from the other.
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