Hollywood screenwriter AI BEZZERIDES has died after a brief illness. He was 98.
A novelist and short story writer, Bezzerides became best known for penning the screenplays for film noir classics including KISS ME DEADLY and ON DANGEROUS GROUND.
He was working as a communications engineer when his 1938 novel LONG HAUL was turned into 1940 melodrama They Drive by Night, starring George Raft and Humphrey Bogart as struggling trucker brothers hauling produce in California.
The success gave Bezzerides the incentive to follow his dream to write for the movies.
Among his other screenwriting successes were BENEATH THE 12-MILE REEF, SIROCCO and TRACK OF THE CAT.
He also wrote for TV series like BONANZA and RAWHIDE, and co-created THE BIG VALLEY, a popular 1960s TV western series starring Barbara Stanwyck.