Mostly Credited As: Mickey Spillane
Birth Name: Frank Morrison Spillane
Date Of Birth: March 09, 1918 (Age 88)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York
Date Of Death: July 17, 2006
Cause Of Death: Natural Causes (Murrells Inlet, South Carolina)
An American author of crime novels. He was known for his series of novels featuring his signature detective character, Mike Hammer, among other works. Spillane was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in a tough neighborhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He started his career writing for slick magazines. After some success, he turned to pulp magazines and comic books. He was paid twelve dollars a piece for a block of copy and could do as many as fifty blocks of copy a day. During World War II, Spillane trained pilots and flew combat missions for the Air Corps. After the war, Spillane returned to comic books. He also worked as a trampoline performer with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. He had a short stint as a federal agent during which he helped smash a narcotics ring (he carried the scars of two bullets and a knife wound to prove it). For a time Spillane was one of the most popular authors in the U.S., with seven titles among the ten best-selling American books of the 20th century. His first detective novel was I, the Jury in 1947. 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 (1955) and The Girl Hunters (1963), 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. Spillane also appeared in a series of commercials for Miller Lite which parodied his tough-guy image. Mickey Spillane died July 17, 2006 at his home in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina following a long illness. He was 88.