First Bill Styron, now Bill Diehl (1924-2006). The mighty are falling like T-rexs after Chixilub; unfortunately I don't think the mammalians scurrying in the rubble will evolve into anything worthwhile. Yes, Diehl is best known for his "attorney Martin Vail" recurring character, principally in Primal Fear, which made a star out of Edward Norton (and showcased Laura Linney) when adapted for film, and presaged the Catholic priest scandals. Richard Gere was so-so.
For me, my hero worship began as a callow college sophomore out on a date with a stiff yet strangely intriguing Japanese chick (don't hate--I was experimenting with other races but came back "home" later hahahaha). We went to see Sharkey's Machine with Burt Reynolds and...day-um...Rachel Ward--one of the better crime flicks of the 1980s. [Note to younger fanboys & girls (like my nieces-in-law), this movie is so old that the pivotal scene is shot atop the A-T-L's Peachtree Plaza and rotating Westin or Marriott; at that time it was the only real skyscraper in Atlanta. The jazzy soundtrack included the Crusader's Street Life, featuring Randy Crawford's vocals].
I rushed to the library (the public library) and checked out the novel on which the film was based, Diehl's first effort. He was almost 50 when he wrote Sharkey's Machine, and thus is a role model for all of us who yearned to write, yet endured a lifetime of prologue before making the dream a reality.