Moviegoers know the names of cinema’s greatest stars and directors, but it’s not often viewers also know the names of the people first responsible for bringing their favorite films to life. Two-time Oscar winning screenwriter William Goldman was one of the few exceptions, and today Hollywood and movie lovers everywhere mourn the lost one of its best and most celebrated writers at the age of 87.The Washington Post reports Goldman, whose battle with colon cancer grew worse over the summer, passed away from complications due to pneumonia, last night in his home in Manhattan. Known by generations of kids for writing both the beloved novel and children’s film The Princess Bride, Goldman was also celebrated by older audiences, and even took home Hollywood’s biggest honor twice. At the 1970 Academy Awards he won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He took home his second gold statue in 1977 for Best Adapted Screenplay for the still timely classic All The President’s Men.
Goldman also adapted Stephen King’s novel Misery for the big screen, which netted Kathy Bates the 1990 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Other notable screenplays of his include The Stepford Wives (1975), Marathon Man (1976), Chaplin (1992), Maverick (1994), and Dreamcatcher (2003). He is also considered one of Hollywood’s best “script doctors,” having worked without credit on a number of classic hits including A Few Good Men (1992) and Indecent Proposal (1993).Born in 1931 in Highland Park, Illinois, Goldman was also a celebrated author whomade the move from novelist to screenwriter with 1965’s Masquerade. The Princess Bride and Marathon Man were original novels he adapted himself. His 1983 book, Adventures in the Screen Trade, about his experiences working in the industry, was also a best-seller and still a must-read for cinephiles. Alongside columnist Mike Lupica he also co-wrote the classic sports book Wait Till Next Year: The Story of a Season When What Should’ve Happened Didn’t, and What Could’ve Gone Wrong Did, where he wrote about following sports as a diehard fan.
Even without the rest of his stellar career, fans both young and old will always remember him as the man who wrote The Princess Bride. William Goldman might be gone, but he gave the world a timeless story we can go back to any night we want. As we wish.What will you remember most about William Goldman? Share your best memory with us in the comments below.