Okay, so I know I'm late on this one (Michael Crichton died on November 4th, 2008), but I still wanted to acknowledge it.
I'm not usually a star-struck kind of person, but I do have to admit that Michael Crichton has influenced me. He'll probably be best remembered for Jurassic Park & ER. But one of my favorite books is his memoir Travels (1988). In it his chronicles his literal as well as spiritual travels. He admits to making a great many stupid mistakes, & details what he has learned from them along the way. The book starts with this line: "It is not easy to cut through a human head with a hacksaw." Awesome!
Learning that he had died made me feel sad, & surprisingly disappointed. I wondered why the death of someone I didn't even know made me feel this way. Perhaps it is because now that he is gone, he can no longer produce great works for me to enjoy. I'm not really sure. But I do know that he has been an important influence on many people. The film-making industry & the book publishing industry will surely miss him.
Here's an article about him from CNN.