Harlan Ellison dies at 84

Legendary writer's work inspired The Terminator

by Jennie Kermode

Harlan Ellison in Los Angeles
Harlan Ellison in Los Angeles Photo: Pip R Lagenta

Harlan Ellison, whose work was credited with inspiring The Terminator, has passed away at the age of 84, it emerged today. The writer, whose novella A Boy And His Dog was adapted into a film with Don Johnson, was famous for writing five stories a day for many years, and infamous (but much loved) for his temper.

Ellison was also known for campaigning for the writes of screenwriters, whom he felt were not adequately recognised by the film industry in the light of how much they contribute. He lobbied for an increase in writers' pay and for proper acknowledgement for writers whose ideas were adapted into films.

A prolific writer for the small screen, Ellison contributed to the likes of Babylon 5, The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. He was born in Ohio but moved to Los Angeles at the age of 28 and began writing film scripts, with successes including The Oscar and Jackpot. His famous short story I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream became a popular video game.

Ellison is survived by his wife, Susan.

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