Writer Mickey Spillane dead at 88

July 18, 2006 at 1:43 PM   |   Comments

COLUMBIA, S.C., July 18 (UPI) -- Writer and actor Mickey Spillane, who wrote the "Mike Hammer" mystery books, has died in Murells Inlet, S.C., at age 88.

Spillane would often say that he was a writer and not an author, but he still managed to write 13 "Mike Hammer" mysteries plus nine other novels and two children's books, South Carolina's The State reported Tuesday.

He made his mark in the literature world with his first book in 1946. He wrote the "Mike Hammer" novel "I, the Jury" in just days. He was 28 years old, and Dutton publishing, part of the Penguin Group, bought the book for $1,000.

At one point in his career, seven out of 10 of the most-translated books in the world and three of the top 10 all-time best-sellers were his books.

Seven of his books were also made into movies.

The New York Times reported that Spillane was the only mystery write to ever portray his own character on screen. He played Hammer in the film "The Girl Hunters."

But Spillane was far from being Mike Hammer, he was the father of four and a Jehovah's Witness who enjoyed deep sea fishing, only catching what he would eat of course.

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