William Goldman, Oscar-winning writer of movies such as The Princess Bride and All The President's Men, has passed away at the age of 87. The news was confirmed by several of his family members, including his daughter Jenny and son-in-law, Mike Pavol. Goldman's health had been failing in recent years and he passed away at his home in New York City surrounded by loved ones, of complications related to colon cancer and pneumonia, according to his family.
Though William Goldman will be remembered as one of the great screenwriters, the man never thought of himself in that way. In an interview with the New York Times in 1979 he said, "I'm not a screenwriter. I'm a novelist who writes screenplays." Indeed, Goldman did start his career as a novel writer after graduating from Columbia University in New York with a master's in English, with his first book, The Temple of Gold, earning praise. That would go on to spawn a series of novels.
It wasn't much later that William Goldman dipped his toe in the Hollywood stream, with his first screenwriting job coming in 1965 with Masquerade. He then adapted Harper in 1966 before writing his first original screenplay, which turned out to be Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The Paul Newman and Robert Redford classic cemented Goldman's status as a top-notch screenwriter, ultimately earning him a Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 1970. Goldman would go on to later adapt All The President's Men in 1976, again starring Redford, which earned him a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. The Academy took to Twitter to Honor Goldman following the news of his Passing.
"For decades, Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman shared his spirit, imagination and enduring words with us. Today, we say goodbye to a Hollywood legend."
Despite the fact that William Goldman was an in-demand screenwriter, he never left New York City. Instead, he would make his way to Los Angeles to meet with filmmakers for a couple of days at a time, then would return to his home in New York to write his scripts. Goldman continued to write novels as well. Often times, Goldman would wind up adapting his own novels for the screen. Some of the most famous examples include Michael Mann's crime drama Heat, Marathon Man, Magic and The Princess Bride. While a modest success at the time of its release, the Rob Reiner-directed movie has become a true classic and a favorite amongst cinephiles. Reiner took to Twitter to share his thoughts on Goldman's passing.
"Losing Bill Goldman made me cry. My favorite book of all time is The Princess Bride. I was honored he allowed me to make it into a movie. I visited with him last Saturday. He was very weak but his mind still had the Goldman edge. I told him I loved him. He smiled & said f*** you."
One of the author's other major contributions to the screenwriting world was his book Adventures in the Screen Trade. Published in 1983, it went on to become a bestseller and is widely regarded as one of the best books ever published on the subject. Some of his other notable movie credits include the adaptation of Stephen King's Misery, A Bridge Too Far and The Stepford Wives. Be sure to check out some of the other tributes that have been paid to the late writer below. RIP, William Goldman. This news was previously reported by Deadline.
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. https://t.co/oqSyQaRq2R— edgarwright (@edgarwright) November 16, 2018
For decades, Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman shared his spirit, imagination and enduring words with us. Today, we say goodbye to a Hollywood legend. pic.twitter.com/s0IBe658vp— The Academy (@TheAcademy) November 16, 2018
Losing Bill Goldman made me cry. My favorite book of all time is The Princess Bride. I was honored he allowed me to make it into a movie. I visited with him last Saturday. He was very weak but his mind still had the Goldman edge. I told him I loved him. He smiled & said fuck you.— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) November 16, 2018
William Goldman was huge part Of creating some of the seminal movies of the 70’s and beyond. His book on screenwriting was a touchstone for me and I always felt star struck and intimidated seeing him at Knicks games. #RESPECThttps://t.co/ED9HUJc50R— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) November 16, 2018
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.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) November 16, 2018
RIP #WilliamGoldman. One of the greatest most successful screenwriters ever. I was lucky as hell to count Bill as a mentor and a friend. Check his credits & see a William Goldman movie or read a Goldman book over the holiday & give thanks that we had his voice in our world. https://t.co/RWRdCoO1Cm— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) November 16, 2018
One less giant....— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) November 16, 2018
William Goldman Dies; Oscar Winning Writer Of ‘Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid’ Was 87 – Deadline https://t.co/ipARwOdkNs
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.— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 16, 2018