Net Worth Revealed

William Goldman’s Birthday, Family, Bio

William Goldman: A Legendary ScreenwriterScreenwriting is an art that combines creativity, storytelling, and the ability to captivate audiences. Among the many talented individuals who have mastered this craft, William Goldman stands out as a legendary figure in the world of cinema.

Born on August 12, 1931, in Highland Park, Illinois, Goldman’s exceptional writing skills have left a significant impact on the film industry. In this article, we will delve into his life, his journey before fame, and how his work has influenced the world of screenwriting.


1. Early Life:

– William Goldman was born into a Jewish family in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago.

– He developed a love for books and writing from an early age, often losing himself in novels and storytelling. – This passion for writing led him to study at Oberlin College in Ohio, where he pursued a degree in English.

2. Writing Career:

– After completing his education, Goldman started his writing career as a novelist.

– His first successful novel, “The Temple of Gold,” was published in 1957 and received critical acclaim. – Goldman’s transition from novels to screenplays began in the late 1960s when he was approached to adapt his own novel, “No Way to Treat a Lady,” into a film.

– This marked the beginning of his journey into the world of screenwriting, where he eventually found his true calling. 3.

Notable Works:

– “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969): This Western film, written by Goldman, became a monumental success and earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. – “All the President’s Men” (1976): Goldman adapted Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward’s book about the Watergate scandal into a screenplay, which was critically acclaimed and praised for its accuracy.

– “The Princess Bride” (1987): Goldman not only wrote the screenplay for this beloved romantic adventure film but also penned the original novel. It has since become a cult classic, cherished by audiences of all ages.

– “Misery” (1990): Adapted from Stephen King’s novel, Goldman’s screenplay for this psychological thriller earned him another Academy Award nomination.

Before Fame

1. Novelist to Screenwriter:

– Before making a mark as a screenwriter, Goldman enjoyed success as a novelist.

– His early novels, including “The Temple of Gold,” “Your Turn to Curtsy, My Turn to Bow,” and “Soldier in the Rain,” showcased his storytelling abilities and gained him a following. – The transition to screenwriting allowed Goldman to explore new avenues for his storytelling, adapting his own novels and successfully adapting the works of others.

2. Works as an Adaptation Specialist:

– Goldman’s talent for adapting novels into screenplays was unparalleled.

– In addition to his own works, he successfully adapted best-selling novels, such as “Marathon Man” and “Magic,” into films. – His ability to capture the essence of a story and translate it onto the screen made him highly sought-after in Hollywood.

3. Mastery of Multiple Genres:

– Goldman’s versatility as a screenwriter is evident through the array of genres he tackled.

– Whether it was Westerns, romantic comedies, political thrillers, or horror, Goldman’s adaptability and skill allowed him to excel in any genre he ventured into. – This versatility further showcased his ability to understand and translate various narrative styles and themes.

4. Goldman’s Influence:

– Goldman’s impact on the world of screenwriting cannot be overstated.

– His command of storytelling, memorable dialogue, and narrative structure set a high standard for aspiring screenwriters. – Many of his iconic lines, such as “Follow the money” from “All the President’s Men,” have become part of pop culture lexicon.

– His work continues to inspire and influence screenwriters to this day, standing as a testament to his enduring legacy. Conclusion:

From his humble beginnings as a novelist to becoming one of the most esteemed screenwriters, William Goldman’s journey is a testament to his remarkable talent, versatility, and impact on the film industry.

His ability to adapt and create captivating stories across various genres has cemented his place as a legendary figure in screenwriting. Through his works, Goldman has left an indelible mark on cinema, inspiring countless writers and enchanting audiences for generations to come.


1. Uncredited Contributions:

– While Goldman is primarily known for his screenwriting, he also made significant uncredited contributions to several films.

– One notable example is his work on the classic film “Good Will Hunting” (1997), for which he polished the script and helped shape the characters, earning Matt Damon and Ben Affleck an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. – Goldman’s uncredited script doctoring skills were highly valued in Hollywood, and he often provided his expertise behind the scenes.

2. Pseudonyms:

– Throughout his career, Goldman occasionally used pseudonyms for his writing.

– One pseudonym he adopted was Harry Langlaugh, which he used for the screenplay of the film “The General’s Daughter” (1999). – This allowed Goldman the freedom to explore different writing styles and genres under different names.

3. Directorial Debut:

– In addition to his prolific screenwriting career, Goldman also dipped his toes into directing.

– His directorial debut came with the film “Masquerade” (1988), a thriller starring Rob Lowe and Meg Tilly. – While the film received mixed reviews, Goldman’s foray into directing showcased his versatility as a filmmaker.

4. Love for Theater:

– Goldman’s talent extended beyond film and literature; he was also passionate about the theater.

– In 1961, he wrote the play “Blood, Sweat, and Stanley Poole” with his brother James Goldman, who was also a renowned playwright. – Although the play was not a commercial success, it marked Goldman’s venture into the world of theater, a medium that would continue to inspire him throughout his career.

Family Life

1. Marriage and Children:

– In 1956, William Goldman married Ilene Jones, to whom he remained married until her death in 1991.

– The couple had two children together, Jenny and Susanna. Jenny Goldman became a successful actress, known for her work in films such as “The Sum of All Fears” (2002) and “Boynton Beach Club” (2005).

2. Collaborative Efforts:

– Goldman had a close working relationship with his brother, James Goldman.

– The Goldmans collaborated on multiple projects, including the aforementioned play “Blood, Sweat, and Stanley Poole.”

– James Goldman also wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of his own play, “The Lion in Winter” (1968), for which William Goldman provided the uncredited revision. 3.

Influence on Family Members:

– William Goldman’s talent and success in the film industry inspired his daughter, Jenny, to pursue a career in acting. – Jenny’s decision to follow in her father’s footsteps demonstrates the lasting impact Goldman had on those closest to him.

4. Inspiration and Legacy:

– Goldman’s love for storytelling was passed down to his children, who were deeply influenced by his work.

– He left behind a lasting legacy that extends not only to the film industry but also to his own family, who continue to be inspired by his achievements and contributions. Conclusion:

William Goldman’s life and career are filled with intriguing trivia and personal stories.

From his uncredited contributions to his foray into directing, Goldman’s talents extended far beyond his renowned screenwriting. His family life, marked by a successful marriage and inspiring his daughter’s acting career, exemplifies the impact he had on those closest to him.

William Goldman’s enduring legacy will forever be entwined with his contributions to the film industry, as well as the indelible mark he left on the hearts and minds of his loved ones.

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