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William Goldman, Oscar-Winning Screenwriter And Best-Selling Author Dies At 87

William Goldman, Oscar-Winning Screenwriter And Best-Selling Author Dies At 87

The Oscar-winning screenwriter and best-selling author William Goldman, known for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “All The President’s Men”, died on Friday. He was 87.

According to The Washington Post, Goldman, who also wrote the novels and then the screenplays for Marathon Man (1976), Magic (1978) and the much-loved The Princess Bride (1987), died on Friday in his home in Manhattan, reports hollywoodreporter.

The cause of death was complications from colon cancer and pneumonia, his daughter, Jenny Goldman, told the newspaper.

A longtime resident of New York who hated to step foot in Hollywood, Goldman also gained fame for his non-fiction books about the business. In Adventures in the Screen Trade, published in 1982, he’s credited with coming up with the final dictum on Hollywood genius: “Nobody knows anything.”

“Nobody knows anything,” he wrote. “Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.”

In a review of Adventures in the Screen Trade, filmmaker John Sayles wrote that the book’s “final section is the best discussion I’ve read of the pitfalls of tackling a screenplay.”

Goldman then penned another perceptive critique of show business, 1990’s Hype and Glory, which documented his experiences while serving in 1988 on juries at the Cannes Film Festival and the Miss America pageant. And in 2000, he published Which Lie Did I Tell? a frank and juicy depiction of showbiz and artistic practices.

In his books about Hollywood, Goldman noted that he frequently fought battles with directors — “writer killers,” he called them — who had no vision of what they wanted, so they demanded constant rewrites.

Nobody Knows Anything (Except William Goldman) was the title of a documentary about him.

Actors, Authors and Directors like Rob Lowe, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Edgar Wright shared their condolences on Twitter.

Actor Rob Lowe wrote, “William Goldman’s work made me fall in love with movies (Butch Cassidy, Marathon Man, All The President’s Men). His books taught me about writing and navigating showbusiness, which will never be the same without him. He was a true legend.”

Author Stephen King said, “So sorry to hear of the passing of William Goldman. He was both witty and talented. His screenplay of my book MISERY was a beautiful thing. Rest In Peace, Bill.”

Writer and Director of movies like ‘Baby Driver’ and ‘Scott Pilgrim vs The World’, Edgar Wright tweeted, “It’s no small feat to be a smart, witty writer and smart and witty about writing. RIP the legendary adventurer in screenwriting, William Goldman.”



Author Neil Gaiman recalled the time he interviewed Goldman and tweeted, “I was lucky, in 1984, to interview William Goldman at the Savoy. He brightened up when I told him that of all his books, I loved The Princess Bride, then his least successful book, the best. A gentleman: he wrote brilliant novels & screenplays & explained Hollywood to the world.”

“A few words on the passing of William Goldman: In addition to being a legendary screenwriter, he was a friend and mentor to so many other writers, offering guidance and support, directly influencing hundreds of films beyond his own work…” tweeted Beau Willimon.

(With Agency Inputs)

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