William Goldman Dies At 87 Writer William Goldman died this week — he had an outsized influence on films, and the way we talk to each other. Scott Simon remembers the screenwriting giant.
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William Goldman Dies At 87

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William Goldman Dies At 87

William Goldman Dies At 87

William Goldman Dies At 87

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Writer William Goldman died this week — he had an outsized influence on films, and the way we talk to each other. Scott Simon remembers the screenwriting giant.

(SOUNDBITE OF BURT BACHARACH'S "NOT GOIN' HOME ANYMORE (REPRISE)")

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's a good chance you've quoted William Goldman, not just from his endlessly quotable "Princess Bride." Ever told anyone, follow the money? It's a line from his 1976 screenplay for "All The President's Men." I got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals - that's from his screenplay of "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid."

William Goldman died this week at the age of 87. He won Oscars for both those films, and many other awards. He wrote novels, memoirs and plays, as well as screenplays, which also included "Marathon Man," "A Bridge Too Far" and "The Stepford Wives."

Writing's finally about one thing, William Goldman once, well, wrote - going into a room alone and doing it, putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting demon never leaves you - a demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound.

But for William Goldman, earthbound until they reached the silver screen.

(SOUNDBITE OF BURT BACHARACH'S "NOT GOIN' HOME ANYMORE (REPRISE)")

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