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Butch Cassidy, Princess Bride writer William Goldman has passed away at 87

Two-time Oscar winner and Hollywood legend William Goldman passed away last night, Deadline has learned. The writer best known for works like BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID and THE PRINCESS BRIDE had apparently been experiencing health issues for some time, and his “condition deteriorated” over the summer. He was 87.

A writer for all mediums, Goldman got his big break in the movie industry after writing novels and plays (such as “Boys and Girls Together” and “No Way to Treat a Lady”) with the script for BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, which was turned into the hit 1969 movie with Robert Redford and Paul Newman and directed by George Roy Hill. The film won him his first Golden Globe and Academy Award and solidified him as one of the top screenwriters at the time.

His work throughout the 70s included scripts for THE STEPFORD WIVES, THE HOT ROCK, THE GREAT WALDO PEPPER, MAGIC and MARATHON MAN, of which he wrote both the novel and the movie it became with Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier. He wrote the script for the 1976 film ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, the true story about journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward breaking the Watergate scandal, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The movie was nominated for Best Picture and earned Goldman his second Academy Award.

Come the 80s Goldman was not as in-demand as a screenwriter as he was in the 70s and turned to write a memoir which became “Adventures in the Screen Trade,” now considered one of the best books on the ins-and-outs of Hollywood and features the famous line “Nobody knows anything.” Come the end of the decade he was finally able to turn his 1973 book, THE PRINCESS BRIDE, into a film, which he wrote the script for and was directed by Rob Reiner. A quotable classic that has remained in the hearts of many for over 30 years, it has easily gone down as his most cherished work.

He continued to write into the 90s and 2000s, including scripts for movies like MISERY, YEAR OF THE COMET, CHAPLIN, MAVERICK, HEARTS IN ATLANTIS, DREAMCATCHER, as well as script doctoring work on movies like A FEW GOOD MEN, INDECENT PROPOSAL and more. 

Goldman has a ton of excellent work attached to his legacy, with BUTCH CASSIDY, ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN and PRINCESS BRIDE three of his best that are still watched and appreciated all these decades later. The first in that lineup is one of my favorite movies, and PRESIDENT'S MEN probably isn't too far off. He was a gifted writer and a true legend in the industry, and he will be dearly missed. 

Source: Deadline

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