Elmore Leonard Suffers Stroke But ‘Get Shorty’ Writer Is Recovering

Elmore Leonard, the 87-year-old crime novelist whose work has sparked a number of Hollywood movies, had a stroke on July 29. On Tuesday, his researcher Gregg Sutter confirmed the sad news for The Detroit News.

He added that Elmore Leonard is now recovering in an unnamed Detroit area hospital. The National Book Foundation lifetime achievement winner has lived in Michigan for most of his life.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that the latest film adaptation of Leonard’s work will be Life of Crime, based on his novel The Switch. (There are already too many movies out called The Switch or Switch, apparently.) The Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, and Mos Def vehicle is slated to premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in September.

But the prolific novelist known for his gritty style and witty dialogue has fueled many other movies.

Some of Leonard’s best-known novels-turned-movies are Get Shorty and Mr. Majestyk, which inspired movies by the same name, and Rum Punch, filmed as Jackie Brown.

His short stories have inspired adaptations as well. One of the amazing examples is 3:10 To Yuma, filmed twice 50 years apart, in 1957 and 2007. The 2007 version starred popular actors Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. Yet it all began as a cover story for 1953 pulp Dime Western Magazine.

The TV series Justified was inspired in part by his story Fire In The Hole, as well as two novels Pronto and Riding The Rap.

Elmore Leonard has already published 45 novels. But Sutter said that he is the middle of writing the 46th.

At the news of his stroke, fans came forward to post multiple healing wishes on his Facebook page.

Poster Craig Pittman probably spoke for everyone when he said, “[W]e’re all pulling for him to make a complete recovery…and write another 40 or 50 books.”

Get well soon, Elmore Leonard!

[Elmore Leonard photos by John Levanen via Flickr, Creative Commons]

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