||Frank Morrison Spillane - 'Mickey'
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An early version of Spillane's Mike Hammer character, called Mike Danger, was submitted in a script for a detective-themed comic book. Following its rejection, Spillane turned to the novel format. His first novel, written in six days, I, the Jury, was published by E.P. Dutton in 1947 and the paperback version was published by Signet in December 1948. He wrote the book in a tent while he built his first house. I, the Jury introduced Spillane's tough detective Mike Hammer. The violence was more overt than it had ever been in a detective story. His books, although considered tame by current standards, had more than their contemporary competitors in terms of sexual episodes.
Spillane also dabbled in film. He had a chance to play himself as a detective in Ring of Fear in 1954. It was directed by screenwriter, James Edward Grant.
Many of the Mike Hammer novels were made into movies, including the classic film noir Kiss Me Deadly and The Girl Hunters, in which Spillane himself starred. In The Girl Hunters, Spillane played his creation, Mike Hammer (one of the few occasions in film history in which an author of a popular literary hero has portrayed his own character). It also starred Bond girl Shirley Eaton and actor Lloyd Nolan. He also appeared as a writer who is murdered in the TV series Columbo.
In 1965, he married his second wife, Sherri Malinou, a model who posed in the nude for the cover of his 1972 book The Erection Set. The book was also dedicated to her.
Date of Birth: March 9, 1918
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Date of death: July 17, 2006
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