The genre world has just lost one of its best.

AICN is reporting that Dan O’Bannon has passed away after a week-long stay in a hospital, leaving this world at the age of 63.

Dan O’Bannon’s career began back in the 70s when he attended USC film school, where he met another student in his graduating class named John Carpenter. They went on to work on Carpenter’s debut feature Dark Star, in which O’Bannon co-wrote, edited, acted and worked as special effects supervisor. After that he went on to work on the visual effects team on the original Star Wars before realizing he was a better screenwriter, going on to write the first script for Alien (which was originally titled Star Beast!)

As if laying the groundwork for the Alien series wasn’t enough, he also wrote such films as Total Recall, John Carpenter’s Dark Star, Lifeforce, two sections of Heavy Metal, and he even wrote and directed the classic Return of the Living Dead. He was also the genius behind one of the most underrated zombie films of all time, Dead And Buried, which you can bet I’ll be watching again tonight in honor of the man.

Our thoughts go out to Dan’s wife and family, and we can only hope that they know how much happiness the man’s work has brought people.