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‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ Writer Dies – Variety



William Goldman, who won the Oscar for his original screenplay for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and his adaptation of "All the President & # 39; s Men", died Friday at his home of Manhattan, according to the Washington Post. He was 87 years old.

His daughter Jenny Goldman cited complications caused by colon cancer and pneumonia as a cause of her death.

"Butch Cassidy," a Western revisionist who helped popularize the film, announced Goldman as a screenwriter capable of balancing big laughs with a sense of adventure, while "All the President & # 39; s Men" cemented the his status as a capable writer of suspense. The two are considered among the best scriptwriters ever written and exemplify the range and versatility of Goldman.

In a 201

5 interview with Signature, Goldman was asked about his ability to bounce from gender to genre.

"Cross your fingers and never stop," he said. "Prayer is also good."

Goldman, who often relocated his novels, such as "Magic", "The Bride Princess" and "Marathon Man", was also a chronicler of the film world. His books, "Adventures in the Screen Trade" and "Hype and Glory", offer a spotless look at the kind of interference and risk aversion by big studio wigs that all too often create creativity. In the film world, he once noted that "nobody knows anything", a bit of ironic wisdom that is often mentioned in the studio lots and in the executive suites.

Goldman also turned his piercing eyes towards the stage and professional sports, collaborating on stories of those industries. As with his screenplays, he brought acute observation, entertainment value and, above all, ingenuity also for his more serious endeavors. He also performed unaccredited tweaks on such films as "Indecent Proposal", "The Right Stuff" and "Good Will Hunting" as well as some films he was probably happy to have in his resume, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger's flop "The Last Action" Hero. "

In an article by Goldman from April 2015, Writers Guild Written By declared:" What is remarkable in "Butch Cassidy" and Bill Goldman is how many guys have encouraged and how many aspiring writers they are done by themselves in screenwriters studying the screenplay and the film and the memoirs of Goldman "Adventures in the Screen Trade." "More in detail his influence, the magazine said:" His descriptive style, with its literary origins and the frequent use of phrases and comments, provides a map to a scriptwriting path followed enthusiastically by Shane Black's writers to Vince Gilligan. "

His 1964 novel" Boys and Girls Together "failed or to impress critics, but became the first bestsel of Goldman ler. That same year came "No Way to Treat a Lady", a comic thriller that later also became a film. It was published under one of the many pseudonyms he used, Harry Longbaugh, the real name of the Sundance Kid.

A screenwriter career was born by chance, Goldman said. After reading an initial "No Way" draft, actor Cliff Robertson thought it was a film treatment and asked Goldman to adapt the "Flowers for Algernon" short story to the screen. Although none of Goldman's work has entered the film, eventually it was called "Charley", it was through Robertson that Goldman was involved in the 1965 film "Masquerade", his first feature film, for which he shared the screenplay with Michael Relph. He later adapted "The Moving Target" by Ross MacDonald, which became the vehicle of Paul Newman of 1966 "Harper."

Goldman spent a year exploring the 1967-68 Broadway season – doing everything to take part in out-of-town tests of each production and conduct interviews with actors and directors. "The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway" was criticized for bias and snark when it was released in 1969, but the reviewers admitted that it was a very enjoyable read.

Also in 1969, Goldman received what was then a high-powered $ 400,000 mark for its original screenplay "Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid". The film with Newman and Robert Redford was one of the greatest hits of the decade and made Goldman a highly sought-after screenwriter.

Goldman adapted his 1974 novel "Marathon Man" as a large-screen vehicle for Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier. The end of the film was changed without her consent, but the film contained a memorable sequence of torture that still leaves viewers reluctant to return to the dentist's chair. His 1976 novel "Magic" later came to the screen with Anthony Hopkins.

Goldman has always considered himself primarily a novelist, but his scripts received such a favorable reception that he could not resist making efforts like the comedy "The Hot Rock" in 1972, the 1975 adaptation of "The Stepford Wives "by Ira Levin (from whom he begged to have his name removed) and" The Great Waldo Pepper, "a less successful Redford vehicle on the aviatorial baratria.

He had such a strong collaborative relationship with Redford that he was enlisted to adapt "All the President & # 39; s Men", based on the Watergate investigation of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, in 1976. The film scored at the box office and collected several Oscar nominations, including one for the best image. However, his later adaptation, of the Cornelius Ryan World War II epic "A Bridge Too Far", was deemed excessive and was a disappointment at the box office.

Goldman's first adventure on television was the four-hour miniseries "Mr. Horn" in 1979. By now his experiences in Hollywood had reached critical mass, and he fictionalized some of those feelings in the 1979 novel "Tinsel. "

Adapted his fairy tale for adults of 1973" The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern & # 39; s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure "(1973) for the hit and hard-hit film of 1987. (There was no a classic story by S. Morgenstern, it was only a presumption, which he also used in a later work, "The Silent Gondoliers"). The film, an ironic adventure film, has only made a box office in its theatrical career, but has become a favorite cult in video. Lines like "Never go against a Sicilian when DEATH is at stake" and "as you wish" have become favorites by fans and have entered the popular lexicon.

Several non-fiction efforts have also gained popularity, notably the 1983 direct and cunning account of the Adventures in the Screen Trade business. He became a bestseller. Later in the decade he collaborated with sports writer Mike Lupica in "Wait Till Next Year", which looked at the baseball, football and basketball seasons of 1987. In 1990 he arrived "Hype and Glory", a story of Goldman's experiences as a judge for the Cannes Film Festival and the Miss America fashion show.

Although his later work could not match the verve and promise of "Butch Cassidy", an adaptation of the 1990 novel "Misery" by Stephen King was an exception. The thriller stared at James Caan as a novelist imprisoned by his number one fan, Kathy Bates. The actress won an Oscar for her work and fifteen years later, Goldman adapted "Misery" for the Broadway stage in a production with Bruce Willis. Goldman's other commitments as "Year of the Comet", "Memoirs of an Invisible Man", "Chaplin" and "The Chamber" were a commercial and artistic mixture.

The thrillers "The Ghost and the Darkness", "The General & # 39; s Daughter" and "Absolute Power" have made money, as well as a big-screen version of the TV series "Maverick", but at that point Goldman he was as required for his work as a screenwriter as he was for his original efforts.

Born in Chicago, Goldman grew up in the suburbs of Highland Park. After attending Oberlin College, Goldman gave military service, then returned to school to complete his English masters at Columbia University in 1956. That year he wrote his first novel, "Temple of Gold", in 10 days, and although he had previously failed to publish his first stories, Alfred Knopf picked up the training story, and received good news.

His next novel, "Your turn to cure, my turn to bow", also faced a crisis in the life of the young male; was followed in 1960 by the well received "Soldier in the Rain", a tragicomedy set in a southern training base. It would be the first of his novels to reach the screen in the middle of the years & # 60;

In 1967 he published the well-known marital drama "The Thing of It Is …" A little later came novels including "Father & # 39; s Day" "And the children's book" Wigger " . " Control ", on a group of people trying to alter the future and the past, was well received when it was released in 1982. He also wrote" The Color of Light "and" The Brothers, "A sequel to" Marathon Man "Goldman collaborated with his brother James, who died in 1998, in a theater comedy," Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole, "and a musical," A Family Affair. "

Goldman was married to photographer Ilene Jones from 1961 until their divorce in 1991. He survived by their two daughters, Jenny and Susanna

Carmel Dagan contributed to this relationship. [19659002] :


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