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William Goldman

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: screenwriter, author

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of the most celebrated writers to make a name for himself in both literature and film, William Goldman was born in Highland Park, Illinois in 1931. He would enroll at Oberlin College, where a creative writing class awakened his desire to become an author, and soon began submitting short stories for publication. Shortly after obtaining an MFA from Columbia University in 1956, Goldman published his first novel, the coming of age tale The Golden Temple. Soon he was off and running, publishing books like Soldier in the Rain and Boys and Girls Together. In 1965, Goldman was tapped to rewrite the script for the film "Masquerade" (1965), and soon, screenwriting became an integral component of his career. After his screenplay for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) became a huge success, Goldman published the highly unusual and highly praised fantasy novel The Princess Bride in 1973. He would go on to publish the thriller Marathon Man, adapting it into a hit film in 1976 before penning another lauded script, adapting Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's All the President's Men into a landmark feature film. Goldman's 1983 memoir Adventures in the Screen Trade would become a de facto guidebook for...

One of the most celebrated writers to make a name for himself in both literature and film, William Goldman was born in Highland Park, Illinois in 1931. He would enroll at Oberlin College, where a creative writing class awakened his desire to become an author, and soon began submitting short stories for publication. Shortly after obtaining an MFA from Columbia University in 1956, Goldman published his first novel, the coming of age tale The Golden Temple. Soon he was off and running, publishing books like Soldier in the Rain and Boys and Girls Together. In 1965, Goldman was tapped to rewrite the script for the film "Masquerade" (1965), and soon, screenwriting became an integral component of his career. After his screenplay for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) became a huge success, Goldman published the highly unusual and highly praised fantasy novel The Princess Bride in 1973. He would go on to publish the thriller Marathon Man, adapting it into a hit film in 1976 before penning another lauded script, adapting Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's All the President's Men into a landmark feature film. Goldman's 1983 memoir Adventures in the Screen Trade would become a de facto guidebook for young writers in the industry, and his reputation only became stronger when he adapted The Princess Bride into a blockbuster hit in 1987. Goldman would concentrate on screenwriting for the following decades, notably adapting a number of Stephen King novels for the screen including Misery and Dreamcatcher. William Goldman died in November 2018. He was 87 years old.

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Milestones close milestones

1978:
Adapted his novel "Magic" for the screen; directed by Attenborough
1987:
Adapted his novel, "The Princess Bride", to the screen; directed by Rob Reiner
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
1977:
First collaboration with Richard Attenborough, the WWII drama "A Bridge Too Far"
1961:
First play produced on Broadway, "Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole"; written with brother James
1965:
First screenwriting credit: doctored script by "Americanizing" Michael Relph's screenplay for "Masquerade" when Cliff Robertson replaced Rex Harrison in the cast
2001:
Penned the script for "Hearts in Atlantis", adapted from a Stephen King book
1957:
Wrote first novel, "The Temple of Gold"
1990:
Wrote screenplay for "Misery", based on the Stephen King novel; film directed by Reiner and starred Kathy Bates in her Oscar-winning role
1997:
Wrote script for Clint Eastwood's "Absolute Power", adapted from the novel by David Baldacci
1966:
Adapted the Ross MacDonald novel "The Moving Target" as "Harper", a vehicle for Paul Newman
1999:
Contributed to the screenplay adaptation of Nelson DeMille's best-seller "The General's Daughter"
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)
1975:
Reteamed with director Hill and star Redford for the period comedy-drama "The Great Waldo Pepper"
1972:
Scripted "The Hot Rock", adapted from Donald E Westlake's novel; film starred Redford
1962:
With brother, co-wrote book for the ill-fated Broadway musical, "A Family Affair"; score by John Kander and James Goldman
1976:
Wrote film adaptation of own thriller "Marathon Man"
2003:
Adapted another Stephen King novel, "Dreamcatcher," for director Lawrence Kasdan
:
Became regular contributor to NEW YORK magazine
1992:
First original screenplay in over 20-years "Year of the Comet"
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
1992:
Collaborated on screenplay for Attenborough's biopic "Chaplin"
1963:
First novel to be turned into film, "Soldier in the Rain"
1994:
Provided screenplay for Richard Donner's "Maverick"
1952:
Served as a corporal in the US Army
1976:
Won second Oscar for adaptation of "All the President's Men" for producer-star Redford
2015:
Adapted his novel <i>Heat</i> into a film starring Jason Statham.
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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
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