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Mickey Spillane (1918-2006) was the bestselling American mystery writer of the 20th century. He introduced Mike Hammer in "I, the Jury" (1947), which sold in the millions, as did the six tough mysteries that soon followed. The controversial P.I. has been the subject of a radio show, comic strip, and several television series, starring Darren McGavin in the 1950s and Stacy Keach in the ’80s and ’90s. Numerous gritty movies have been made from Spillane novels, notably director Robert Aldrich’s seminal film noir, "Kiss Me Deadly" (1955), and "The Girl Hunters" (1963), in which the writer played his own famous hero.
The Grand Master “Edgar” Award, the highest honor be-stowed by the Mystery Writers of America, was presented to Spillane in 1995. He also received the Private Eye Writers life achievement award, the Eye.