The man who brought Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men, and Princess Bride to the silver screen has died. He was 87.

Oscar-winning screenwriter, playright and novelist William Goldman passed away in his sleep at his New York home on Friday while suffering from pneumonia and colon cancer, his daughter confirmed.

Goldman was born to a Jewish family in Chicago in 1931. He came to prominence in the sixties with hit detective film Harper (1966) starring Paul Newman.

Its success led to him receiving $400,000 (€350,000) to sell his script for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) – the highest price paid for an original screenplay at the time. Despite initial lukewarm reviews from critics, the Western became the highest grossing film of the year and netted him his first writing Oscar.

In the seventies, Goldman found hits with The Princess Bride (1973), Marathon Man (1974), and All the President’s Men (1977).

Goldman also wrote the screenplay for science-fiction horror The Stepford Wives (1975), which became a cult hit in the years since, and Stephen King adaptation Misery (1986), which earned lead actress Kathy Bates an Academy Award.

His death drew tributes from big names in Hollywood, including Princess Bride director Rob Reiner, who said the news “made me cry”.

“My favorite book of all time is The Princess Bride. I was honored he allowed me to make it into a movie,” he added.

Comedy star Ben Stiller said: “William Goldman was huge part Of creating some of the seminal movies of the 70’s and beyond. His book on screenwriting was a touchstone for me.”

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