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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 16 December 1928Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 2 March 1982Santa Ana, California, USA  (heart failure)
Birth NamePhilip Kindred Dick
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Philip Kindred Dick was born in Chicago in December 1928, along with a twin sister, Jane. Jane died less than eight weeks later, allegedly from an allergy to mother's milk. Dick's parents split up during his childhood, and he moved with his mother to Berkeley, California, where he lived for most of the rest of his life. Dick became a published author in 1952. His first sale was the short story "Roog." His first novel, "Solar Lottery," appeared in 1955. Dick produced an astonishing amount of material during the 1950s and 1960s, writing and selling nearly a hundred short stories and some two dozen or so novels during this period, including "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?," "Time Out Of Joint," "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch," and the Hugo-award winning "The Man In The High Castle." A supremely chaotic personal life (Dick was married five times) along with drug experimentation, sidetracked Dick's career in the early 1970s. Dick would later maintain that reports of his drug use had been greatly exaggerated by sensationalistic colleagues. In any event, after a layoff of several years, Dick returned to action in 1974 with the Campbell award-winning novel "Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said." Perhaps more importantly, though, this same year Dick would have a profound religious experience that would forever alter his life. Dick's final years were haunted by what he alleged to be a 1974 visitation from God, or at least a God-like being. Dick spent the rest of his life writing copious journals regarding the visitation and his interpretations of the event. At times, Dick seemed to regard it as a divine revelation and, at other times, he believed it to be a sign of extreme schizophrenic behaviour. His final novels all deal in some way with the entity he saw in 1974, especially "Valis," in which the title-character is an extraterrestrial God-like machine that chooses to make contact with a hopelessly schizophrenic, possibly drug-addled and decidedly mixed-up science fiction writer named Philip K. Dick. Despite his award-winning novels and almost universal acclaim from within the science-fiction community, Dick was never especially financially successful as a writer. He worked mainly for low-paying science-fiction publishers and never seemed to see any royalties from his novels after the advance had been paid, no matter how many copies they sold. In fact, one of the reasons for his extreme productivity was that he always seemed to need the advance money from his next story or novel in order to make ends meet. But towards the very end of his life, he achieved a measure of financial stability, partly due to the money he received from the producers of Blade Runner (1982) for the rights to his novel "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?" upon which the film was based. Shortly before the film premiered, however, he died of a heart attack at the age of 53. Since his death, several other films have been adapted from his works (incuding Total Recall (1990)) and several unpublished novels have been published posthumously.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Rudyard Kennedy

Spouse (5)

Tessa Busby (18 April 1973 - 26 March 1978) (divorced) (1 child)
Nancy Hackett (1966 - 1973) (divorced) (1 child)
Anne Williams Rubinstein (1958 - 1964) (divorced) (1 child)
Kleo Apostolides (June 1950 - 1958) (divorced)
Jeanette Marlin (May 1948 - 1948) (divorced)

Trivia (8)

Several of his stories involve chasing/running. Examples include: Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990), Impostor (2001), and Minority Report (2002).
A recurrent motif in many of Dick's stories involves the collapse of an artificial reality; the main character discovers that his entire world has been mechanically imposed on his psyche and that "reality" is vastly different. Other uses of "alternate realities" also figure in some of his novels and stories.
Biography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors." New Revision Series, Vol. 132, pp. 125-132 (as David Cornwell). Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2005.
Before he died, he saw about 20 minutes of Blade Runner (1982), mostly-completed special effects shots with some sound effects and no music. Dick, who had been cynical about it beforehand, left the screening pleasantly stunned with what he had seen.
The story "Minority Report" by Philip K. Dick was originally adapted as a sequel to Total Recall (1990) by writers Ronald Shusett and Gary Goldman, later joined by Robert Goethals. The setting was changed to Mars with the Precogs being people mutated by the Martian atmosphere, as established in the first film. The main character was also changed to Douglas Quaid, the man played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The project eventually fell apart but the writers, who still owned the rights to the original story, rewrote the script, removing the elements from Total Recall (1990). This script was eventually tossed out when novelist Jon Cohen was hired in 1997 to start the project over from scratch. The only original element from the early script which made it to the final Minority Report (2002) film is the sequence in the car factory, an idea that Steven Spielberg loved.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives." Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 231-233. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
Buried in Riverside Cemetery, Fort Morgan, Morgan County, Colorado, USA Plot: Section K, block 1, lot 56.
In 2005, scientists created an android with a head resembling Philip K. Dick that was programmed to respond to queries with responses appropriate to the author. The android also could "recognize" friends and family. When "introduced" to Dick's daughter Isolde ("Isa") Dick Hackett, the android launched into a tirade denouncing her mother, Nancy Hackett. Isa found the experience to be unpleasant. The head of the android eventually was lost during a trip on an airliner. The android was flying to Santa Ana, California, where Dick died in 1982, which Isa found to be a fitting end for her tormentor.

Personal Quotes (4)

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.
[September 25, 1980, from a conversation with Paul M. Sammon (Paul Sammon)]: You would have to kill me and prop me up in the seat of my car with a smile painted on my face to get me to go near Hollywood.
I'm an obsessive writer and if I don't get writer's block I'd overload, short circuit and blow my brain out right away.

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