A prolific writer with a distinctive voice, Leonard (along with Fletch creator Gregory McDonald) helped to make high-stakes, high-action mystery and thriller novels accessible to a wider audience by injecting humor into their hard-boiled world. Other films based on Leonard's work include Out of Sight, 3:10 to Yuma and Jackie Brown.
"The post I dreaded to write, and you dreaded to read," posted Leonard's publicist to the author's official Facebook page this morning. "Elmore passed away at 7:15 this morning from complications from his stroke. He was at home surrounded by his loving family."