September 15, 1890
Torquay, Devon, England
January 12, 1976
Wallingford, Oxforshire, England
One of the best-selling authors of all time, English writer Agatha Christie, a Dame of the Order of the British Empire, had a long and illustrious career penning murder mysteries and other crime fiction in the form of novels, short stories, and plays. Born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller in the seaside town of Torquay, she married Archibald Christie (though they later divorced) and published her first novel in 1920. Given Christie's immense popularity as a writer, it didn't take long before filmed adaptations of her work began to surface, but these televised and cinematic interpretations didn't appear in earnest until the 1950s. Among the many fine movie adaptations of Christie's prose are Billy Wilder's "Witness for the Prosecution" and Sidney Lumet's "Murder on the Orient Express," and, in the realm of TV, few would argue that actor David Suchet's take on her beloved character Hercule Poirot is one of the best ever committed to screen. Decades after Christie's death in 1976, filmed versions of her writing continue to spring up almost annually in a time-honored tradition that is not likely to change.