William Goldman, Oscar-winning screenwriter of 'All the President's Men' and 'The Princess Bride,' dead at 87

Ray Amati/Getty Images
  • Author and Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman died Friday at the age of 87.
  • Goldman won two Oscars for writing “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “All the President’s Men.”
  • He was also the author of “The Princess Bride” and the Hollywood book “Adventures in the Screen Trade.”

Author and Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman died Friday at the age of 87 at his Manhattan home from complications with colon cancer and pneumonia, according to The Washington Post.

Goldman won two Oscars for screenwriting for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” in 1970, and then for the classic Watergate journalism drama, “All the President’s Men,” in 1977. He was also a revered author who wrote the 1973 fantasy novel, “The Princess Bride,” which he later adapted into a screenplay for the beloved 1987 film.

He wrote the 1983 Hollywood and screenwriting book, “Adventures in the Screen Trade,” best known for Goldman’s conclusion about Hollywood: “Nobody knows anything.”

“Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work,” Goldman wrote. “Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Goldman’s first original screenplay was “Butch Cassidy,” which 20th Century Fox bought for $US400,000. It went on to score $US665 million after inflation, making it the highest-grossing movie of 1969.

Seven years later, Goldman received his second Oscar for “All the President’s Men,” an expertly crafted script that follows Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as the famed Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who exposed the Nixon administration’s Watergate scandal.

Goldman also wrote “The Stepford Wives” (1975), “Marathon Man” (1976), and “Misery” (1990), based on the Stephen King novel.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.