Merrick passed away on 24 March (15) in Santa Monica, California, aged 65.

He is best known for writing the screenplay to 1990 war drama Memphis Belle, which starred Harry Connick Jr. and Eric Stoltz, while he also penned a number of made-for-TV films, 8 Seconds, Staying Together and Tom Selleck's Mr. Baseball.

Merrick was also a novelist and playwright whose plays have been produced off-Broadway and throughout the U.S. at regional theatres.