Born, Frank Michael Spillane on March 9, 1918 in Brooklyn, NY, Mickey Spillane was a pulp detective fiction writer. With more than two dozen novels, he was one of the top selling American authors of all time.
Mickey's books were highly sadistic and sexual for the times. His covers were often lurid, featuring women in various states of undress. His books seemed sometimes misogynistic and downright misanthropic, but his 26 books have sold more than 200 million copies.
I, the Jury, his first novel that introduced the character Mike Hammer, sold nearly a quarter of a million copies in its initial softcover run. The Mike Hammer books made the leap to movies almost immediately. Mickey Spillane once said that he didn't like any of the film adaptations of his books.
The TV series starring Darren McGavin ran from 1956-1959
The TV series starring Stacy Keach ran from 1984-1989.
Did you know?
Mickey Spillane grew up in Elizabeth, NJ. Through the years, he regularly attended Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School reunions.
Mickey didn't believe in self-adulation. When the town of Elizabeth named a street after him, he told the local newspaper, “Streets should be named after birds or numbers or something.”
Spillane started writing after returning home for the Army Air corps in order to raise enough money to buy some property.
Mickey Spillane played Mike Hammer in 1963 in The Girl Hunters.
He became a Jehovah's Witness in the 1950s.
Ayn Rand was a huge fan of Mickey Spillane's writing.
His first novel was written in 19 days!
Mickey worked in Barnum & Bailey's circus as a trampoline artist and was proficient in knife-throwing.
John Wayne gave Mickey a gift for his anti-communism--a Jaguar XK140.
He had an odd compulsiveness about punctuation and once insisted that 50,000 copies of Kiss Me, Deadly be destroyed because the the comma was left out of the title.
Spillane always dressed in black and white.
He wrote two children's books: The Day the Sea Rolled Back (1979) and The Ship That Never Was (1982).
Mickey started as a comic book writer in the 1940s. He wrote stories for Captain Marvel, Superman, Batman and Captain America.