Writer Robert B. Parker dies

Crime novelist known for 'Spenser' series

Robert B. Parker, the blunt and beloved crime novelist who helped revive the hard-boiled genre and branded a tough guy of his own through his “Spenser” series, died Monday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 77.

Parker’s novel “Appaloosa” was turned into a 2008 Western feature film.

Prolific to the end, Parker wrote more than 50 novels, including 37 featuring Boston private eye Spenser. The character’s first name was a mystery and his last name emphatically spelled with an “s” in the middle, not a “c.” He was the basis for the 1980s TV series “Spenser: For Hire,” starring Robert Urich.

A native of Springfield, Mass., Parker openly worshipped Raymond Chandler and other classic crime writers and helped bring back their cool, clipped style in such early “Spenser” novels as “The Godwulf Manuscript” and “God Save the Child.”

Within a few years, in “Looking for Rachel Wallace” and “Early Autumn,” he was acclaimed as a master in his own right. When Chandler died before finishing his novel “Poodle Springs,” Parker wrote the rest of the novel, which was turned into a 1998 TV film. Other TV projects were based on his novels, including telefilm “Stone Cold” and several shows based on the Jesse Stone character.

More Film

  • (L to R) Young Rosie (ALEXA

    'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,' 'The Equalizer 2' Eye Debuts Above Forecasts

    Robert B. Parker, the blunt and beloved crime novelist who helped revive the hard-boiled genre and branded a tough guy of his own through his “Spenser” series, died Monday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 77. Parker’s novel “Appaloosa” was turned into a 2008 Western feature film. Prolific to the end, Parker wrote more than 50 […]

  • Durban 2018 Panel on Sexual Harrasment

    For Black Women in South African Film Biz, Equality Still a Struggle

    Robert B. Parker, the blunt and beloved crime novelist who helped revive the hard-boiled genre and branded a tough guy of his own through his “Spenser” series, died Monday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 77. Parker’s novel “Appaloosa” was turned into a 2008 Western feature film. Prolific to the end, Parker wrote more than 50 […]

  • 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Teases Spider-Ham

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Teases Spider-Ham, Other Webspinners

    Robert B. Parker, the blunt and beloved crime novelist who helped revive the hard-boiled genre and branded a tough guy of his own through his “Spenser” series, died Monday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 77. Parker’s novel “Appaloosa” was turned into a 2008 Western feature film. Prolific to the end, Parker wrote more than 50 […]

  • Venom Comic-Con

    'Venom' Creators Promise 'Huge World,' Tease Spider-Man Fight

    Robert B. Parker, the blunt and beloved crime novelist who helped revive the hard-boiled genre and branded a tough guy of his own through his “Spenser” series, died Monday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 77. Parker’s novel “Appaloosa” was turned into a 2008 Western feature film. Prolific to the end, Parker wrote more than 50 […]

  • Bully

    Film News Roundup: Danny Trejo's Dark Comedy 'Bully' Scores Distribution

    Robert B. Parker, the blunt and beloved crime novelist who helped revive the hard-boiled genre and branded a tough guy of his own through his “Spenser” series, died Monday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 77. Parker’s novel “Appaloosa” was turned into a 2008 Western feature film. Prolific to the end, Parker wrote more than 50 […]

  • Jamie Lee Curtis Hugs Fan Who

    Jamie Lee Curtis Embraces Sobbing Fan, Who Says 'Halloween' Saved His Life

    Robert B. Parker, the blunt and beloved crime novelist who helped revive the hard-boiled genre and branded a tough guy of his own through his “Spenser” series, died Monday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 77. Parker’s novel “Appaloosa” was turned into a 2008 Western feature film. Prolific to the end, Parker wrote more than 50 […]

  • Teen Titans Go to the Movies

    Film Review: 'Teen Titans GO! to the Movies'

    Robert B. Parker, the blunt and beloved crime novelist who helped revive the hard-boiled genre and branded a tough guy of his own through his “Spenser” series, died Monday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 77. Parker’s novel “Appaloosa” was turned into a 2008 Western feature film. Prolific to the end, Parker wrote more than 50 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content