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Thomas Harris (1940 - )
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Thomas Harris (born 1940 in Jackson, Tennessee) is an author, most famous for his book The Silence of the Lambs, which was made into a motion picture starring Jodie Foster as trainee FBI agent Clarice Starling and Anthony Hopkins in an Oscar-winning portrayal of psychopathic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The book and successive movie is the sequel to the book Red Dragon (which has also been filmed under the title Manhunter) which also included Lecter as a minor character. He is well known for being private and reportedly reclusive, as he has avoided most media interviews for the past twenty years. He declined to participate in the movie adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs, but when it was finished, he sent to the cast and crew individual cases of wine.
Harris was born in Tennessee but moved as a child with his family to Rich, Mississippi. He attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he majored in English and graduated in 1964. While in college, he worked as reporter for the local newspaper, the Waco Tribune-Herald, covering the police beat. In 1968, he moved to New York to work for the Associated Press.
The deaths of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics compelled Harris to write the 1975 best-selling book Black Sunday, a fictional novel about the plans of a terrorist group to seize control of a blimp, place a shrapnel bomb on board, and explode it during the Super Bowl. This book was made into a movie starring Robert Shaw and Bruce Dern.
Harris' 1988 novel, The Silence of the Lambs, was released as a movie in 1991. Earning $272.7 million worlwide, the movie earned five Academy Awards, including Best Movie, Best Director (Jonathan Demme), Best Actress (Jodie Foster), Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally).
Harris' 1999 novel, Hannibal, was also made into a movie and released in 2001. The movie once again featured Lecter (Hopkins) and Starling (played by Julianne Moore, instead of Jodie Foster, who decided to pass). Directed by Ridley Scott, Hannibal earned about $351.7 million gross from movie theaters worldwide, which was $79 million more than the worldwide gross of its predecessor.
Harris' next novel, Behind the Mask, centers on Lecter as a young man. It is due for release in 2006.
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