William Goldman, novelist, screenwriter and playwright, is born on this day in Chicago, the younger brother of writer James Goldman. Both brothers will prove to be highly versatile writers, penning successful novels, short stories, plays, and movies.
Goldman attended Oberlin College and Columbia University. Originally, he concentrated his efforts on fiction, though he also collaborated with his brother, James, on the play Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole in 1961. James went on to write the play The Lion in Winter (1967), which was made into a film in 1968 and won an Academy Award.
In the 1960s, he focused on novels, including Solider in the Rain, Boys and Girls Together, No Way to Treat a Lady, Marathon Man, and The Princess Bride. After his novel Soldier in the Rain was made into a movie in 1963, he began writing screenplays himself. He wrote film versions of several of his own books, including Marathon Man (1976) and The Princess Bride (1987). Goldman won Academy Awards for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men. His 1983 book, Adventures in the Screen Trade, is considered a classic behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood and the screenwriting process. His book Hype and Glory (1990) explores the Cannes Film Festival.