Deaths elsewhere

December 22, 2009|By Los Angeles Times

DAN O'BANNON, 63

'Alien' screenwriter

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," died Thursday after a 30-year battle with Crohn's disease, a chronic form of inflammatory bowel disease, his wife, Diane, said.

Mr. O'Bannon, whose credits include co-writing "Blue Thunder" and "Total Recall," wrote the script for "Alien," director Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi classic about a spaceship terrorized by a hideous alien being. He made his directorial debut with "The Return of the Living Dead," a 1985 genre parody that Mr. O'Bannon described as being "to horror movies what 'Airplane!' was to disaster films."

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