Having established himself as one of the major American writers of his generation with his novels (The Naked and the Dead, An American Dream) and his non-fiction (Advertisements for Myself, The Armies of the Night), Mailer began writing, directing, and acting in his own independent films, drawing inspiration from Warhol and Cassavetes. He debuted in 1968 with two provocative features, Wild 90 and Beyond the Law. His third film Maidstone, a bizarre satire of presidential campaigning, was his most technically ambitious work; it achieved instant notoriety for including in its final cut a vicious brawl between Mailer and his costar Rip Torn. In 1982 he wrote the script for the television adaptation of his novel The Executioner's Song; five years later he wrote and directed the theatrical feature Tough Guys Don't Dance, an adaptation of his detective novel. Mailer also appeared in the Milos Forman film Ragtime and in Jean-Luc Godard's King Lear. Mailer died of renal failure in November 2007.