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Dan O’Bannon Gone

from The LA Times

Dan O’Bannon dies at 63; screenwriter of ‘Alien’

By Dennis McLellan

Dan O’Bannon, the acclaimed science fiction/horror film screenwriter who was best known for writing the blockbuster hit “Alien” and who also directed and wrote the zombie fest “The Return of the Living Dead,” has died. He was 63.

O’Bannon, whose credits include co-writing “Blue Thunder” and “Total Recall,” died Thursday at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica after losing his 30-year battle with Crohn’s disease, said his wife, Diane.

His career began with the low-budget 1974 sci-fi film “Dark Star,” a dark comedy directed by John Carpenter that began as a USC student project and was co-written by O’Bannon and Carpenter from their original story. (O’Bannon played what has been described as a “reluctant, flunky astronaut.”)

“Dan was enormously talented. He was acerbically funny and, I think, quite underappreciated,” Carpenter, who first met O’Bannon in film school at USC, told The Times on Friday. “I think Dan had more talent than he was allowed to show in the movie business. He was multitalented: a production designer, editor, director, writer.

“One of the things that endeared him to me was his rebellion against all authority, including myself, the studios, anybody who was above him. He said he kicks up, not down.”

[ click to continue reading at the Los Angeles Times ]

Posted on December 15, 2009 by Editor

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