The great Larry McMurtry (The Last Picture Show, Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment, Hud, co-writer of Brokeback Mountain), a literary giant if there ever was one, is gone at age 84. I’m very sorry, but at least Sam the Lion has some company. Hugs and condolences all around.

McMurtry was a legend, a brand…the creator of his own genre. A magnificent writer with a clear, eloquent, Texas-twang voice, softly infused with a certain basic, homespun wisdom.

No, McMurtry didn’t write HudIrving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr. co-penned the screenplay — but that classic 1963 film, directed by Martin Ritt and starring Paul Newman, was based on his own “Horseman, Pass By.”

Yes, James L. Brooks wrote the Terms of Endearment screenplay (and presumably came up with Jack Nicholson‘s “to kill the bug that you have up your ass” line), but the source book was McMurtry’s.

Yes, William D. Wittliff wrote the Lonesome Dove screenplay but it was based on McMurtry’s 1985 novel.

It would be nice if all these legendary creative people would stop dying, thanks. They’re dropping like flies.