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William Goldman

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Also Known As: Harry Longbaugh, S Morgenstern Died:
Born: August 12, 1931 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: author, screenwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Widely considered among the finest storytellers in Hollywood, screenwriter William Goldman wrote many of cinema's most prominent films, some of which were adapted by him from his own novels. Though he started his writing career as a novelist and playwright, Goldman emerged with the stylish "Harper" (1966) and cemented his career early on with the iconic revisionist Western, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969), which earned him his first Academy Award. Over the next decade, Goldman amassed a list of envious credits, writing such heavy hitters as "The Stepford Wives" (1975), "All the President's Men" (1976) - which delivered his second Oscar -and "Marathon Man" (1976), the last of which featured the most infamous use of dental tools recorded on celluloid. After writing the World War II epic "A Bridge Too Far" (1977), Goldman stepped aside from Hollywood to focus on books, including the seminal memoir Adventures in the Screen Trade (1983), which famously told the world that in Hollywood, "Nobody knows anything." He returned to prominence with an adaptation of his own novel,"The Princess Bride" (1987), a wise and whimsical fantasy comedy that became one of his most beloved movies. After adapting...

Widely considered among the finest storytellers in Hollywood, screenwriter William Goldman wrote many of cinema's most prominent films, some of which were adapted by him from his own novels. Though he started his writing career as a novelist and playwright, Goldman emerged with the stylish "Harper" (1966) and cemented his career early on with the iconic revisionist Western, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969), which earned him his first Academy Award. Over the next decade, Goldman amassed a list of envious credits, writing such heavy hitters as "The Stepford Wives" (1975), "All the President's Men" (1976) - which delivered his second Oscar -and "Marathon Man" (1976), the last of which featured the most infamous use of dental tools recorded on celluloid. After writing the World War II epic "A Bridge Too Far" (1977), Goldman stepped aside from Hollywood to focus on books, including the seminal memoir Adventures in the Screen Trade (1983), which famously told the world that in Hollywood, "Nobody knows anything." He returned to prominence with an adaptation of his own novel,"The Princess Bride" (1987), a wise and whimsical fantasy comedy that became one of his most beloved movies. After adapting the Stephen King novel "Misery" (1990), Goldman began experiencing something of a slide with titles like "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" (1992), "The Chamber" (1996) and "The Ghost and the Darkness" (1996). Despite misfires such as the bizarre King adaptation "Dreamcatcher" (2003), Goldman remained an inspiration to new generations of aspiring scribes hoping to attain even a fraction of his creative and commercial success.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Human Face With John Cleese, The (2001) Interviewee ("Fame")
3.
 History Vs. Hollywood (2001) Interviewee ("Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid: Outlaws Of Time")
4.
 Robert Redford: Hollywood Outlaw (2000) Interviewee
5.
 Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows (2000) Interviewee
7.
 NBA AT 50 (1996)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1952:
Served as a corporal in the US Army
1957:
Wrote first novel, "The Temple of Gold"
1961:
First play produced on Broadway, "Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole"; written with brother James
1962:
With brother, co-wrote book for the ill-fated Broadway musical, "A Family Affair"; score by John Kander and James Goldman
1963:
First novel to be turned into film, "Soldier in the Rain"
1965:
Hired to write first screenplay, a treatment of the teleplay and short novel "Flowers for Algernon" for Cliff Robertson; did not complete project (date approximate)
1965:
First screenwriting credit: doctored script by "Americanizing" Michael Relph's screenplay for "Masquerade" when Cliff Robertson replaced Rex Harrison in the cast
1966:
Adapted the Ross MacDonald novel "The Moving Target" as "Harper", a vehicle for Paul Newman
1969:
Established screenwriting credentials with an Academy Award-winning original script for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", directed by George Roy Hill and starring Newman and Robert Redford
1972:
Scripted "The Hot Rock", adapted from Donald E Westlake's novel; film starred Redford
1975:
Reteamed with director Hill and star Redford for the period comedy-drama "The Great Waldo Pepper"
1976:
Won second Oscar for adaptation of "All the President's Men" for producer-star Redford
1976:
Wrote film adaptation of own thriller "Marathon Man"
1977:
First collaboration with Richard Attenborough, the WWII drama "A Bridge Too Far"
1978:
Adapted his novel "Magic" for the screen; directed by Attenborough
1979:
First work for TV, the CBS miniseries "Mr. Horn", starring David Carradine; originally written as a film vehicle for Redford and later Steve McQueen
:
Became regular contributor to NEW YORK magazine
1987:
Adapted his novel, "The Princess Bride", to the screen; directed by Rob Reiner
1990:
Wrote screenplay for "Misery", based on the Stephen King novel; film directed by Reiner and starred Kathy Bates in her Oscar-winning role
1992:
First original screenplay in over 20-years "Year of the Comet"
1992:
Collaborated on screenplay for Attenborough's biopic "Chaplin"
1994:
Provided screenplay for Richard Donner's "Maverick"
1997:
Wrote script for Clint Eastwood's "Absolute Power", adapted from the novel by David Baldacci
1999:
Contributed to the screenplay adaptation of Nelson DeMille's best-seller "The General's Daughter"
2001:
Penned the script for "Hearts in Atlantis", adapted from a Stephen King book
2003:
Adapted another Stephen King novel, "Dreamcatcher," for director Lawrence Kasdan
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Oberlin College: Oberlin , Ohio - 1952
Columbia University: New York , New York - 1956

Notes

His sometime pseudonym of Harry Longbaugh is the real name of one of his favorite historical personalities, the Sundance Kid.

"If all you do is write screenplays, then it becomes denigrating to the soul." --William Goldman, quoted in David Thomson's "A Biographical Dictionary of Film"

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ilene Jones. Married on April 15, 1961; divorced in 1988.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Maurice Clarence Goldman. Businessman.
mother:
Marion Goldman.
brother:
James Goldman. Screenwriter, playwright. Born on June 30, 1927; author of "The Lion in Winter" and the book for "Follies"; died on October 28, 1998 of a heart attack in NYC.
daughter:
Jenny Rebecca Goldman. Born c. 1962.
daughter:
Susanna Goldman. Born c. 1965.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Temple of Gold" Alfred A. Knopf
"Your Turn to Curtsy, My Turn to Bow" Doubleday
"Soldier in the Rain" Atheneum
"Boys and Girls Together" Atheneum
"No Way to Treat a Lady" Gold Medal
"The Thing of It Is ..." Harcourt, Brace & World
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" Corgi
"The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway" Harcourt, Brace & World
"Father's Day" Harcourt, Brace & World
"The Princess Bride" Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
"Marathon Man" Delacorte
"Wigger" Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
"The Great Waldo Pepper" Dell
"Magic" Delacorte
"William Goldman's Story of 'A Bridge Too Far'" Dell
"William Goldman"
"Tinsel" Delacorte
"Control" Delacorte
"Adventures in the Screen Trade" Warner Books
"The Silent Gondoliers" Del Ray
"The Color of Light" Warner Books
"Heat" Warner Books
"Brothers" Warner Books
"Wait Till Next Year: The Story of a Season When What Should've Happened Didn't & What Could've Gone Wrong Did!" Bantam Books
"Hype and Glory" Random House
"The Big Picture: Who Killed Hollywood and Other Essays" Applause Books
"Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade" Pantheon
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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