Michael Crichton -- 'Jurassic Park,' 'Sphere' Author -- Dead At 66

Michael CrichtonThe medical doctor-turned-superstar-author Michael Crichton has passed away unexpectedly after a battle with cancer. He was 66.

Crichton enjoyed critical and commercial success with a series of bestselling novels, often invoking scientific themes surrounding biology and genetics. Hollywood mined a number of his novels, translating them into such hit films as "The Andromeda Strain," "Rising Sun," "Disclosure," "Congo," "Sphere," and the blockbuster "Jurassic Park" franchise, of which a fourth installment is currently in development.

In a statement released to MTV News, a representative for the Crichton family said: "While the world knew him as a great storyteller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us -- and entertained us all while doing so -- his wife Sherri, daughter Taylor, family and friends knew Michael Crichton as a devoted husband, loving father and generous friend who inspired each of us to strive to see the wonders of our world through new eyes. Through his books, Michael Crichton served as an inspiration to students of all ages, challenged scientists in many fields, and illuminated the mysteries of the world in a way we could all understand. He did this with a wry sense of humor that those who were privileged to know him personally will never forget."

Along with co-writing screenplays for "Jurassic Park" and "Twister" and directing "Coma," Crichton was also the creator of the long-running NBC series "ER."

Which Michael Crichton film ranks as your favorite? Remember the author/filmmaker below.