'Jurassic Park' author Michael Crichton dies of cancer

Michaelcr_lco_4242372_600 Michael Crichton, author of bestselling novels such as "Jurassic Park" and "The Andromeda Strain," died Tuesday at age 66.

Click here to read an interview with the late author.

According to his website, he fought "a courageous and private battle against cancer."

Crichton was known for his stories of disaster, such as the microbe-gone-rogue fantasy of "Andromeda Strain" or dinosaurs created from DNA in "Jurassic Park."

But he was also a screenwriter and filmmaker, earning producing and writing credits for the film versions of many of his books. He even created NBC's successful "ER" in 1994.

"Michael was an extraordinary man. Brilliant, funny, erudite, gracious, exceptionally inquisitive and always thoughtful," "ER" executive producer John Wells told the Hollywood Reporter "No lunch with Michael lasted less than three hours, and no subject was too prosaic or obscure to attract his interest. Sexual politics, medical and scientific ethics, anthropology, archeology, economics, astronomy, astrology, quantum physics and molecular biology were all regular topics of conversation. I was blessed to have known him and proud to be able to have called him my friend."

A private funeral service is planned.

Thanks for keeping us amazed, amused and always on the edge of our seats, Michael. You will be greatly missed

What are your favorite Crichton novels?

Photo credit: WireImage