Buck Henry, screenwriter behind films like The Graduate and Heaven Can Wait, dies at 89

FP Staff

Jan 09, 2020 17:57:38 IST

Veteran screenwriter Buck Henry, credited for penning Hollywood classics such as The Graduate and Heaven Can Wait, has passed away at the age of 89. According to Deadline, Henry died after suffering a heart attack at Cedars-Sinai Health Center in Los Angeles.

Born Henry Zuckerman in 1930 in New York City, the writer was the son of silent film star Ruth Taylor.

 Buck Henry, screenwriter behind films like The Graduate and Heaven Can Wait, dies at 89

Buck Henry. Image from Twitter

He started his career in the early 1960s when he appeared as a cast member on TV shows such as The New Steve Allen Show and That Was the Week That Was.

Henry found fame after he co-created Get Smart, a spy thriller parody series, with Mel Brooks in 1965. The show was later adapted into a 2008 movie, starring Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and Dwayne Johnson.

His film career began with 1964 movie The Troublemaker, in which he also played a minor role. But his big moment came with The Graduate, which he adapted from the novel of the same name with Calder Willingham. The Mike Nichols-directed film, starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, earned Henry and Willingham a nomination for best adapted screenplay.

He made his feature directorial debut with 1978's Heaven Can Wait, featuring Warren Beatty, who co-directed the movie. The duo had received a best director nomination at the 1979 Academy Awards for their efforts.

Henry was also actively involved with Saturday Night Live, which he hosted ten times during the period of 1976 to 1980. His hosting record was later surpassed by Steve Martin in 1989.

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Updated Date: Jan 09, 2020 17:57:38 IST