Primal Fear author WILLIAM DIEHL has died at the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 81. His wife VIRGINIA GUNN confirmed he died of aortic embolism on Friday (24NOV06). Diehl started his first novel SHARKY'S MACHINE, which was later made into a movie starring Burt Reynolds, while serving as a juror because he found the trial boring. His most famous novel, Primal Fear, a 1993 thriller about a lawyer defending a young man accused of murdering an archbishop, was turned into the 1996 film starring Richard Gere and Edward Norton. Diehl, who worked as successful journalist and photographer before he began writing novels, had been working on his tenth book at the time of his death.