A legendary screenwriter has passed away.

In today’s Los Angeles Times, I see that legendary novelist and screenwriter William Goldman has passed away at age 87. Nardine Saad wrote the obituary. She said, in part:

The prolific Hollywood wiseguy wrote some of the most quotable films of all time and also authored a number of novels and memoirs. He became a sought-after “script doctor,” a hired gun who burnishes a struggling screenplay, because he understood cinematic storytelling as well as the importance of a character’s perspective.

But it was his 1983 book, “Adventures in the Screen Trade,” that had Tinseltown buzzing by explaining that there were no easy answers in show business, readily entering a well-worn catchphrase in the film world’s lexicon.

“Nobody knows anything,” Goldman 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.”

Another memorable quote: “Follow the money,” which first appeared in All the President’s Men, has been used in scandal investigations ever since.

Rob Reiner directed Goldman’s The Princess Bride. Obit writer Saad has been fielding tributes to the Hollywood icon, including this from Reiner: “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 and said fuck you.” (The F-bomb was replaced in the newspaper sentence with an ellipsis).

Sayonara, Mr. Goldman. It’s been a lark. The entire article appears here.


About Michael McKown

Avatar photoJournalist, specialty magazine editor/publisher for 22 years, entrepreneur, co-founder of America's largest working dog organization, producer/director, and co-founder of Ghostwriters Central in 2002.