Prolific horror/sci-fi screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, the creative force behind the enduring 'Alien' franchise, has died at the age of 63 in Los Angeles after a short illness.

Before teaming with writer Ronald Shusett on the script behind Ridley Scott's groundbreaking 1979 hit 'Alien' (originally titled 'Star Beast'), O'Bannon broke into the film business in 1974 by penning 'Dark Star' for former USC classmate John Carpenter. O'Bannon also edited and co-starred in that low-budget effort.
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