Served in the U.S. Army; painted dioramas at Fort Bliss; discharged with the rank of corporal
Roomed with college chum Harvey Schmidt, with whom Benton wrote two books
Freelance writer and artistic associate with <i>Esquire</i>
Served as graphics editor with <i>Esquire</i>
Became art director of <i>Esquire</i>
First worked with future collaborator David Newman at <i>Esquire</i>; reportedly Benton and Newman developed the magazine's annual college issue and its Dubios Achievement Awards
Short film co-directing and co-producing debut (with Elinor Jones), "A Texas Romance"; also created paintings
Was a contributing editor to <i>Esquire</i>
With David Newman, wrote the book for the Broadway musical "It's a Bird ... It's a Plane ... It's Superman"
Feature film co-writing debut (with Newman), "Bonnie and Clyde"; earned first Oscar nomination for script
Contributed sketch material to the stage musical "Oh! Calcutta"
Feature directing debut, "Bad Company"; also co-wrote
Breakthrough feature as writer-director, "Kramer vs. Kramer"; film starred Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep; Benton won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay
Directed Streep in the thriller "Still of the Night"
Wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical "Places in the Heart"; earned Oscar nomination as Best Director; won Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
First feature as producer (co-executive), "The House on Carroll Street," directed by Peter Yates
Directed Dustin Hoffman in film adapatation of E L Doctorow's "Billy Bathgate"; first time directing film he did not write; initial collaboration with Nicole Kidman
First screen collaboration with Paul Newman, "Nobody's Fool", adapted from Richard Russo's novel; also marked final screen appearance of Jessica Tandy
Again directed Newman in the contemporary detective story "Twilight," co-starring Stockard Channing, Gene Hackman, and Susan Sarandon
Adapted the screen version of Philip Roth's novel "The Human Stain," featuring Nicole Kidman and Anthony Hopkins; also directed
Co-adapted Scott Phillips's "Ice Harvest," starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton
Helmed "Feast of Love," a film based on the novel by Charles Baxter and featuring an ensemble cast