Screenwriter, director, producer, and novelist, James Clavell, was born on October 10, 1924, in Sydney, Australia. Clavell's full name was Charles Edmund DuMaresq de Clavelle. Though he wrote screenplays for such highly-acclaimed films as The Fly, The Great Escape, and To Sir With Love, Clavell is best known for his best-selling, grand novels. The novels, which are set in the Far East, include King Rat, Tai-pan, Shogun, Noble House, and Gai-Jin. Remarkable for their scrupulous attention to cultural detail and their innovative plots, Clavell's work has been compared to that of Charles Dickens. Clavell died on September 7, 1994, at the age of 69.