Hollywood Mourns the Loss of Legendary Screenwriter William Goldman at 90

William Goldman, the esteemed screenwriter acclaimed for penning Oscar-winning scripts, including “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Melvin And Howard,” has passed away at the age of 90 in Helendale, California.


His son-in-law, director Todd Field, confirmed the sad news on Thursday, though no details regarding the cause of death were disclosed.

Goldman’s journey to success in Hollywood was not without challenges, as he struggled as a playwright before making his mark in the film industry in his 40s with his first major credit for adapting Ken Kesey’s novel into the award-winning “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”

I. The Rise to Hollywood Success

After years of persistence and dedication, Goldman found his breakthrough as a screenwriter when he adapted Ken Kesey’s novel, resulting in the critically acclaimed and Academy Award-winning film “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975.

The movie, starring Jack Nicholson as a patient in a psychiatric ward, not only won the prestigious Best Picture award at the Oscars but also earned Goldman, along with Lawrence Hauben, the accolade for Best Adapted Screenplay.


II. Continued Triumphs and Recognition

Goldman’s success continued with another Oscar win five years later for “Melvin And Howard,” a film based on the intriguing tale of Melvin Dummar, a luckless Utah gas station owner who claimed to be a beneficiary of Howard Hughes after the billionaire’s death.

In 1992, Goldman received his third Oscar nomination for “Scent of a Woman,” an adaptation of the 1974 Italian movie of the same name.

The film, starring Al Pacino and Chris O’Donnell, showcased Goldman’s mastery of screenwriting and storytelling.

III. A Writer’s Perspective and Artistic Vision

Throughout his illustrious career, Goldman expressed his deep connection to his craft.

He saw himself as a dramatist who happened to write screenplays, with a yearning to make the characters in his work come to life and portray their stories on the silver screen.


For Goldman, the art of filmmaking held a unique power to capture the essence of life itself, an endeavor he found fulfilling and akin to trying to capture starlight.

IV. Personal Loss and Legacy

Outside of his professional achievements, William Goldman experienced personal heartache with the loss of his son, Jesse, in 1981 and the passing of his wife in 2017.

He leaves behind a rich legacy and is survived by four daughters, a son, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Goldman’s contributions to cinema and his ability to craft captivating narratives have left an indelible mark on the industry, and his absence is mourned by the entire Hollywood community.


The passing of William Goldman marks the end of an era in the world of screenwriting.


His remarkable talent, dedication, and ability to bring characters to life on the big screen have left an enduring impact on cinema.

As Hollywood reflects on his numerous achievements and accolades, his legacy will continue to inspire aspiring writers and filmmakers, carrying on the torch of storytelling for generations to come.

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