Film News

Screen Writing Legend William Goldman Dies at 87

Goldman was known for writing "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" among others.

William Goldman, one of the first real stars of American screenwriting, passed away this Friday in his Manhattan home at age 87. The writer reportedly died of complications from colon cancer and pneumonia.

Mr. Goldman first made a name for himself with his Oscar winning screenplay, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," as well as his adaptation of "All the President's Men."

Many younger fans of the screenwriter know him from "The Princess Bride," a convoluted fairy tale whose satirical voice still leaves viewers in stitches. Goldman then showed his range with his dark adaption of Stephen King's "Misery" (1990), a tale of a popular writer held hostage and abused by an unhinged fan. Goldman is also known for "Maverick" (1994), "Absolute Power" (1997), adapted from David Baldacci's best-selling suspense novel; and two further King adaptations, "Hearts in Atlantis" (2001) and "Dreamcatcher" (2003). He was also one of the best-paid script writers in Hollywood's history, reportedly making as much as $1 million for just a month of work.

William Goldman, Norman Mailer Deadline

The Writers Guild magazine wrote a 2015 piece about Goldman, saying, "What's remarkable about 'Butch Cassidy' and Bill Goldman is how many kids they encouraged and how many would-be writers turned themselves into screenwriters by studying the script and the movie and Goldman's memoir 'Adventures in the Screen Trade.'" The piece went on to say, "His descriptive style, with its literary origins and frequent use of asides and comments, provides a map to a screenwriting path followed enthusiastically by writers from Shane Black to Vince Gilligan." Goldman was also known for coining the enduring phrase, still often used on Hollywood sets: "Nobody knows anything."

Goldman leaves behind ex wife Ilene Jones, and their two daughters, Jenny and Susanna, as well as his partner of 19 years, Susan Burden.

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