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James Ellroy

James Ellroy

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: March 4, 1948 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: writer, producer, actor

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Once a punk, prowler, pill popper and profligate panty-sniffer, author James Ellroy transformed his degenerate existence to become perhaps the greatest - if not most infamous - crime writer in the world. Ellroy's novels have been studious crossbreeds of fact and fiction, colliding in brutal fashion to create an alternative history of post-war Los Angeles. His obsession for the dark and unseemly, no doubt fueled by the unsolved murder of his mother in 1958, was clearly reflected in his characters - particularly the hard-edged, broken-down cops who struggle to redeem their violent natures through moral outrage brought forth by heinous crimes. His most enduring contribution to the genre was the L.A. Quartet, a series of dark, densely-packed novels spanning 1947-1958 and centering on four real-life Los Angeles murder cases investigated by fictional cops. The L.A. Quartet turned Ellroy into an international best-seller and landed him on the Hollywood map, thanks to the Oscar-winning adaptation of the third installment, "L.A. Confidential" (1997), making him the most celebrated practitioner of noir fiction since the 1940's Dashiell Hammett.

Once a punk, prowler, pill popper and profligate panty-sniffer, author James Ellroy transformed his degenerate existence to become perhaps the greatest - if not most infamous - crime writer in the world. Ellroy's novels have been studious crossbreeds of fact and fiction, colliding in brutal fashion to create an alternative history of post-war Los Angeles. His obsession for the dark and unseemly, no doubt fueled by the unsolved murder of his mother in 1958, was clearly reflected in his characters - particularly the hard-edged, broken-down cops who struggle to redeem their violent natures through moral outrage brought forth by heinous crimes. His most enduring contribution to the genre was the L.A. Quartet, a series of dark, densely-packed novels spanning 1947-1958 and centering on four real-life Los Angeles murder cases investigated by fictional cops. The L.A. Quartet turned Ellroy into an international best-seller and landed him on the Hollywood map, thanks to the Oscar-winning adaptation of the third installment, "L.A. Confidential" (1997), making him the most celebrated practitioner of noir fiction since the 1940's Dashiell Hammett.

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:
Worked as a golf caddy at Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles
1979:
Began writing first novel, <i>Brown¿s Requiem</i> (published in 1981)
1982:
Published second novel <i>Clandestine</i>, centered around his mother's thinly-disguised murder
1984:
Published the first of three Lloyd Hopkins novels, <i>Blood on the Moon</i>; first book by Ellroy to be published in hardcover in the U.S.
1986:
Published <i>Killer on the Road</i> (formerly <i>Silent Terror</i>), a first-person narration by a serial killer
1987:
Published international best-seller <i>The Black Dahlia</i> (Ellroy financed the promotional tour)
1988:
Optioned the film right for <i>Blood on the Moon</i>, which was renamed "Cop" and starred James Woods as Lloyd Hopkins
1990:
Published <i>L.A. Confidential</i>, the third volume in Ellroy's "L.A. Quartet"
1996:
Published the nonfiction book <i>My Dark Places</i> about investigation of his mother's unsolved 1950s-era murder
1997:
Director Curtis Hanson adapted best-selling novel <i>L.A. Confidential</i> into an award-winning film starring Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Kevin Spacey
1998:
<i>Brown¿s Requiem</i>, Ellroy¿s first novel was adapted into a feature
1999:
Wrote a collection of <i>GQ</i> articles titled "Crime Wave: Reportage and Fiction from the Underside of L.A."
2000:
Feature acting debut with a cameo in "Wonder Boys"
2001:
Published the second installment of the "Underworld USA" trilogy <i>The Cold Six Thousand</i>, which picked up in the aftermath of the first Kennedy assassination
2004:
Released a collection of essays and short stories, <i>Destination Morgue!</i>
2004:
Executive produced and appeared in the documentary feature "Bazaar Bizarre"
2006:
Brian De Palma adapted Ellroy¿s novel <i>The Black Dahlia</i> into feature film starring Josh Harnett and Aaron Eckhart
2008:
Co-wrote screenplay of crime drama "Street Kings"
2012:
With director Oren Moverman, co-wrote script of "Rampart"; film starred Woody Harrelson as racist L.A. policeman
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