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Buck Henry

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Also Known As: Buck Henry Zuckerman Died:
Born: December 9, 1930 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: screenwriter, actor, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

After limited success as a stage actor, writer Buck Henry established himself as a sketch writer and performer in 1960s television before writing scripts for some of cinema's most seminal films. Henry first found screen success on "The New Steve Allen Show" (ABC, 1961) and "That Was the Week That Was" (NBC, 1964-65) before joining forces with Mel Brooks to create "Get Smart" (NBC/CBS 1965-1970), the popular and Emmy Award-winning screwball sitcom that lived a long fruitful life in syndication for generations. During the spy comedy's run, Henry wrote the script for Mike Nichols' iconic film, "The Graduate" (1967), which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. He continued to pen engaging films like "Catch-22" (1970) and "What's Up Doc?" (1972), while directing Warren Beatty in "Heaven Can Wait" (1978), only to find himself slipping with the unwatchable "First Family" (1980) and the routine Goldie Hawn comedy, "Protocol" (1984). Henry shifted focus from putting pen to paper in order to concentrate on performing, which included hosting "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) over 10 times, while serving as a rotating host for the failed late night talker, "The Late Show" (NBC, 1984), and a recurring...

After limited success as a stage actor, writer Buck Henry established himself as a sketch writer and performer in 1960s television before writing scripts for some of cinema's most seminal films. Henry first found screen success on "The New Steve Allen Show" (ABC, 1961) and "That Was the Week That Was" (NBC, 1964-65) before joining forces with Mel Brooks to create "Get Smart" (NBC/CBS 1965-1970), the popular and Emmy Award-winning screwball sitcom that lived a long fruitful life in syndication for generations. During the spy comedy's run, Henry wrote the script for Mike Nichols' iconic film, "The Graduate" (1967), which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. He continued to pen engaging films like "Catch-22" (1970) and "What's Up Doc?" (1972), while directing Warren Beatty in "Heaven Can Wait" (1978), only to find himself slipping with the unwatchable "First Family" (1980) and the routine Goldie Hawn comedy, "Protocol" (1984). Henry shifted focus from putting pen to paper in order to concentrate on performing, which included hosting "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) over 10 times, while serving as a rotating host for the failed late night talker, "The Late Show" (NBC, 1984), and a recurring stint on "Falcon Crest" (CBS, 1981-1990). Henry regained his stature as one of Hollywood's top screenwriters with "To Die For" (1995), only to get pulled into the disaster known as "Town & Country" (2001), which showed that his career had as many moments of sharp disappointment as it did of unadulterated genius.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  First Family (1980) Director
2.
  Heaven Can Wait (1978) Director
3.
  Hunger Chic (1989) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Fuller Life, A (2014)
2.
 Casting By (2013)
3.
4.
 Get Smart (2008)
5.
 American Swing (2008)
7.
 Last Shot, The (2004) Lonnie Bosco
8.
 Town & Country (2001) Suttler
9.
 Breakfast of Champions (1999) Fred T Barry
10.
 Story of X, The (1998) Narration
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1947:
Broadway acting debut at age 16 in a minor role in "Life with Father"
1948:
Acted in the touring company of "Life with Father"
1952:
Served in the U.S. Army; during the Korean conflict toured Germany with the Seventh Army Repertory Company in a musical comedy that he wrote, directed and starred in
1954:
Returned to civilian life
:
With a friend, posed as co-founder of The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals (SINA), a fictional organization that linked animal nudity to the moral decay of Western civilization; appeared on various talkshows to discuss the matter; admitted to the hoax when the organization began gaining in popularity
:
Acted in the national company of "No Time for Sergeants"
1960:
Joined the off-Broadway improvisational theater company "The Premise"
1960:
Moved to Hollywood (date approximate)
:
Began writing comedy material for "The Steve Allen Show" (NBC) and "The Garry Moore Show" (CBS)
1961:
Became a regular performer on the final season of "The Steve Allen Show"
1964:
Feature debut, co-wrote story, co-scripted (with director Theodore J. Flicker) and acted in "The Troublemaker"
1964:
Wrote for and appeared as a regular on "That Was the Week That Was" (NBC), a well-received American version of the classic British political satire series
1965:
Breakthrough TV credit, co-created with Mel Brooks, scripted episodes and served two years (1965-67) as story editor on "Get Smart!" (NBC, CBS), the extremely popular spy spoof series starring Don Adams as Maxwell Smart and Barbara Feldon as Agent 99
1966:
Co-scripted the ABC special "The World of Mike Nichols"
1967:
TV producing debut, executive produced, created and wrote episodes of "Captain Nice", an NBC superhero spoof
1967:
Breakthrough screenwriting credit, co-scripted (with Calder Willingham) "The Graduate"; first collaboration with director Mike Nichols; garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay Adaptation
1975:
Reteamed with Mel Brooks to create "When Things Were Rotten," a short-lived spoof of Robin Hood on ABC
1976:
Hosted and wrote for "That Was the Year That Was," an NBC special that satirically reviewed 1976
1978:
Debut as film director and producer with "Heaven Can Wait" (with Warren Beatty); received an Oscar nomination for Best Direction
1978:
Created "Quark," a short-lived sci-fi spoof starring Richard Benjamin on NBC
1980:
Received a "from characters" credit on "The Nude Bomb," a feature version of "Get Smart!"
1980:
First feature credit as sole screenwriter and sole director, "First Family"
1984:
Became a writer and cast member of "The New Show" (NBC), producer Lorne Michaels' failed attempt to create a "Saturday Night Live"-like primetime show
1985:
Wrote and acted in "Wake Me When I'm Dead," an episode of the 1985-86 revival of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (NBC)
1987:
Last screenwriting credit for eight years, "I Love N.Y."
1987:
Served as a rotating host on "The Late Show," a late night talk show (and the first series produced for Fox)
1987:
Appeared as a recurring character on three episodes of "Falcon Crest" (CBS), the popular primetime soap
1991:
Served as Master of Ceremonies for the "10th Annual Independent Spirit Awards"
1991:
Appeared as a correspondent on "Edge," a monthly magazine series covering American pop culture on PBS
1992:
Appeared in a cameo role as himself in Robert Altman's "The Player"
1993:
Acted in Altman's "Short Cuts"; also featured in "Grumpy Old Men"
1994:
Had a role in Gus Van Sant's misfire "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues"
1995:
Wrote the screenplay for Van Sant's "To Die For"; acted in a supporting role
1997:
Featured in "The Real Blonde"
1999:
Voiced the character of Dadbert on an episode of the UPN animated series "Dilbert"
1999:
Starred on Broadway in "Art"
1999:
Acted in the independent features "I'm Losing You" and "Breakfast of Champions"
2000:
Featured in Griffin Dunne's "Famous"; screened at Cannes
2001:
Co-wrote the comedy feature "Town & Country," starring Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton as a couple with a troubled marriage; also acted
2004:
Cast opposite Matthew Broderick and Alec Baldwin in the comedy "The Last Shot"
2005:
Guest starred on "Will & Grace" (NBC)
2007:
Landed a recurring guest appearance on "30 Rock" (NBC) as Liz Lemon's (Tina Fey) father Dick
2008:
Credited with creating the characters for the feature film remake of "Get Smart," starring Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99
2009:
Starred off-Broadway opposite Holland Taylor in "Mother," a play by Lisa Ebersole
2011:
Cast as Elka's (Betty White) love interest on TV Land sitcom "Hot in Cleveland"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Harvard Military Academy: Los Angeles , California -
Choate School: Wallingford , Connecticut -
Dartmouth College: Hanover , New Hampshire - 1952

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Sally Henry. Met Henry when she was working as Mike Nichols' secretary.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Ruth Taylor. Actor. Began as a Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty in comedy shorts; later played Lorelei Lee in the first screen adaptation of Anita Loos' "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1928).
father:
Paul Zuckerman. Air Force general, stockbroker.

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