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Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 10, 1932 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: screenwriter, producer, songwriter, playwright

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Born one of five children to a wealthy retail magnate who lost his fortune in the Great Depression, Goldman served in the Army for several years after graduating from Princeton. He worked as an associate producer on "Playhouse 90" for CBS from 1958 to 1960 and also wrote the lyrics for a Broadway show, "First Impressions" (1959), based on Jane Austen's classic "Pride and Prejudice". Despite some subsequent work on TV, his career stalled as his decade of labor on a planned stage musical about the Civil War never came to fruition. Goldman kept up his ties with theater and TV with several seasons of work for PBS, producing several plays for "Theater in America". He wrote the screenplay for the film "Shoot the Moon" (which would not be produced until a decade later) and director Milos Forman, impressed with Goldman's work, suggested that he try his hand at adapting Ken Kesey's novel and Dale Wasserman's stage version of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Goldman was only paid $8000 for his collaboration with Lawrence Hauben, but his resulting acclaim and Oscar win jumpstarted his writing career. Goldman has not been a prolific screenwriter, but his best efforts have proven both popular and likably...

Born one of five children to a wealthy retail magnate who lost his fortune in the Great Depression, Goldman served in the Army for several years after graduating from Princeton. He worked as an associate producer on "Playhouse 90" for CBS from 1958 to 1960 and also wrote the lyrics for a Broadway show, "First Impressions" (1959), based on Jane Austen's classic "Pride and Prejudice". Despite some subsequent work on TV, his career stalled as his decade of labor on a planned stage musical about the Civil War never came to fruition.

Goldman kept up his ties with theater and TV with several seasons of work for PBS, producing several plays for "Theater in America". He wrote the screenplay for the film "Shoot the Moon" (which would not be produced until a decade later) and director Milos Forman, impressed with Goldman's work, suggested that he try his hand at adapting Ken Kesey's novel and Dale Wasserman's stage version of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Goldman was only paid $8000 for his collaboration with Lawrence Hauben, but his resulting acclaim and Oscar win jumpstarted his writing career.

Goldman has not been a prolific screenwriter, but his best efforts have proven both popular and likably offbeat. He often presents highly individualistic characters cast into a vortex of pain, while surrounding them with cartoonishly flamboyant, darkly comical settings. Bette Midler vaulted to film stardom in the juicy lead role of "The Rose" (1979), and Goldman won a second Oscar, this time for original screenplay, for his cult film portrait of an "ordinary joe" whose life is changed by a chance meeting, "Melvin and Howard" (1980). The death of a son in 1981 kept him away from writing for a time, and the 80s were a leaner period with the lesser "Swing Shift" (1984) and "Little Nikita" (1988). Goldman again garnered popular acclaim, if a split verdict from critics, with his sentimental but splashy showcase for Al Pacino, "Scent of a Woman" (1992), and the two reteamed for the elaborate political machinations of "City Hall" (1996).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1954:
Served in the US Army; achieved the rank of sergeant
:
Was an associate producer for CBS-TV's "Playhouse 90"
1959:
Wrote the lyrics (with Glen Paxton) for "First Impressions," a Broadway musical based on Jane Austen's classic novel, "Pride and Prejudice"
:
Worked intermittently on a musical about the Civil War for over a decade
:
Worked with NET Playhouse for PBS
1972:
Wrote a song for the feature film, "When the Legends Die"
1972:
Wrote the screenplay for "Shoot the Moon", which was not filmed until nearly a decade later
:
Was a writer and producer for "Theater in America," a PBS TV series; produced TV presentations of well-known plays including "Enemies" by Maxim Gorky and "June Moon" by George S. Kaufman and Ring Lardner
1974:
Moved out to Hollywood (date approximate)
1975:
First screenplays, "End of the Game" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"; won the Academy Award for the latter
1980:
Picked up second Oscar for script for "Melvin and Howard"
1981:
Career interrupted after the death of his son Jesse
1990:
Served as a special consultant for Warren Beatty's feature film, "Dick Tracy"
1992:
Received third Oscar nomination for work on screenplay for "Scent of a Woman", starring Al Pacino
1996:
Contributed to the screenplay for the Pacino vehicle "City Hall"
1998:
Received screenwriting credit on "Meet Joe Black", a loose remake of "Death Takes a Holiday"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Phillips Exeter Academy: Exeter , New Hampshire -
Princeton University: Princeton , New Jersey - 1953

Notes

"Somebody once said to me, 'When in doubt, Bo goes for the pain,'...It's a painful profession, with all this tension. And if you're lucky enough to get recognition and be good at it, then this tension gets tighter and tighter between you and the studio and the director. You're fighting for your work all the time. That's the pain. The pain comes from that tension. And they hold all the cards. And to them it's shoes. They're selling shoes." --Bo Goldman, quoted in THE NEW YORK TIMES, February 25, 1993.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Mab Ashforth. Store owner, jewelry designer. Married January 2, 1954; at one time ran a food store named Loaves and Fishes.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Julian Goldman. Retail magnate. At the peak of his wealth, employed Franklin D Roosevelt as his attorney, owned a racing stable in France, and a Fifth Ave. duplex that was the subject of of an entire issue of "House Beautiful"; was also a Broadway producer; lost his fortune during the Great Depression; died bankrupt.
mother:
Lillian Goldman. Hat model.
daughter:
Mia Goldman.
daughter:
Amy Goldman.
daughter:
Diana Goldman.
son:
Jesse Goldman. Died at age 22 in 1981 when struck by a driver who had run a stop sign.
daughter:
Serena Goldman. Married to actor-director Todd Field.
son:
Justin Goldman.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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