Thomas Harris

Thomas Harris (born 1940 in Jackson, Tennessee) is an author, most famous for his book The Silence of the Lambs, which was made into a motion picture starring Jodie Foster as trainee FBI agent Clarice Starling and Anthony Hopkins in an Oscar-winning portrayal of psychopathic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. This book (and movie) is the sequel to the book (and movie) Red Dragon (which has also been filmed under the title Manhunter) which also included Lecter as a minor character.

Harris was born in Tennessee but moved as a child with his family to Rich, Mississippi. He attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he majored in English and graduated in 1964. While in college, he worked as reporter for the local newspaper, the Waco Tribune-Herald, covering the police beat. In 1968, he moved to New York to work for the Associated Press.

The deaths of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics compelled Harris to write the 1975 best-selling book Black Sunday, a fictional novel about the plans of a terrorist group to seize control of a blimp, place a shrapnel bomb on board, and explode it during the Super Bowl. This book was also made into a movie starring Robert Shaw and Bruce Dern.

Harris' latest novel, Hannibal_(movie), came out in 2000, once again featuring Starling and Lecter. The novel received mixed reviews, with most critics panning the ending, in which Starling and Lecter become lovers.

Hannibal was inevitably made into a movie, in which Hopkins reprised his role as Lecter. Foster decided to pass on the new movie, allegedly for its unfavorable portrayal of Agent Starling. The character was instead played by Julianne Moore. The movie adaptation was as much of a love/hate phenomenon (with more people falling in the latter category) as the novel had been, and both Harris and Dino De Laurentiis, who had produced both films, were accused of trying to turn the series into a cash cow.

Harris' next novel, Behind the Mask, centers around Lecter as a young man. It is due for release in late 2005.

Books by Thomas Harris:

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