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Writer Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90

Writer Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90
Arthur C. Clarke, the legendary science fiction writer whose work inspired the classic Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey, died early Wednesday at his home in Sri Lanka; he was 90. According to his aide, Rohan De Silva, Clarke died after suffering from breathing problems; the author had been suffering from post-polio syndrome since the 1960s, and often used a wheelchair. Born in the United Kingdom, Clarke served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, and after the war earned a degree in math and physics at King's College London. He soon became involved with the the British Interplanetary Society, and also pioneered the concept that satellites could serve as telecommunications relays. While writing a number of non-fiction technical books on space exploration, he also began work on fiction in the 1940s, including "The Sentinel," a 1948 short story he wrote for a BBC competition that would later serve as the basis for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. After meeting with filmmaker Stanley Kubrick in 1964, the two began to collaborate on the script for a film that would expand on Clarke's initial story. Both began work on a book that would serve as a basis for the screenplay, but work on the film began in conjunction with the writing of the novel. As a result, the Kubrick film was released in 1967, well before the book's publication in 1968. While Clarke and Kubrick were both credited with the film's screenplay (earning an Academy Award nomination), Clarke was cited as the sole author of the book; the writer would go on to document the many differences between the book and film in The Lost Worlds of 2001, published in 1972. The film became a landmark work of cinema, featuring such iconic images as a looming black monolith and a score of classical music, including the piece "Thus Spake Zarathustra," that would become forever linked with the film. Clarke also was a television commentator alongside Walter Cronkite for the Apollo moonshots in the late 1960s, and would go on to host a number of science-oriented television shows in the 1980s. He continued to write throughout the 1970s (his works included the novel Rendezvous with Rama), and in 1982 wrote a sequel to 2001 entitled 2010: Odyssey Two, which would later become a 1984 film. Though he was not credited on the screenplay, Clarke corresponded with filmmaker Peter Hyams over the film. In the late 1990s, he was the subject of accusations of pedophilia, just as he was about to be made a knight; later investigations cleared him of all charges, and he finally received his knighthood in 2000. Clarke's home since 1956 was Sri Lanka, where he pursued his passion for marine diving. In December of 2007 he recorded a "good-bye" video message for friends, family and fans of his work. Clarke was briefly married in the early 1950s, and has no children. --IMDb staff

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