William Goldman dead: Oscar-winning screenwriter behind Butch Cassidy and Princess Bride dies aged 87

Hollywood legend's credits include 'All the President's Men', 'Marathon Man' and 'Misery'

Jacob Stolworthy@Jacob_Stol
Friday 16 November 2018 15:38

William Goldman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, has died aged 87.

The legend, regarded as one of the most influential screenwriters in Hollywood history, passed away surrounded by his family and friends after suffering ill health, his daughter confirmed.

Goldman’s extensive list of credits includes 1976 film All the President’s Men, for which he won an Academy Award, and fantasy classic The Princess Bride which featured his oft-quoted line, "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die", spoken by Mandy Patinkin's character.

Other scripts written by Goldman include Marathon Man, Misery, The Stepford Wives and Chaplin.

Born in Illinois in 1931, Goldman began his career as a novelist, writing his first film script – Masquerade – in 1965.

As well as the screenplays he’s best known for, Goldman was renowned for doctoring the works of his peers, reworking films such as A Few Good Men and Indecent Proposal, for which he didn’t have a screen credit.

He wrote memoir Adventures In The Screen Trade which is regarded as one of the most important primers for aspiring screenwriters and journalists. In it, he chronicles the ups and downs of the film industry and famously summed up the world of Hollywood in the popular phrase: “Nobody knows anything.”

The memoir also revealed he wished he'd never written the screenplay for Alan J Pakula film All the President's Men, starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford, due to constant disagreements during its production.

Mia Farrow and Michael Sheen led tributes to the screenwriter, with director Ron Howard calling him "a mentor and a friend".

Ben Stiller also paid his respects, writing on Twitter: "William Goldman was huge part of creating some of the seminal movies of the 70s and beyond. His book on screenwriting was a touchstone for me and I always felt star-struck and intimidated seeing him at Knicks games."

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