Robert Benton

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
Writer-director Robert Benton began his career in the literary world. The Texas native settled in NYC and found work in various editorial capacities at ESQUIRE magazine. He also co-wrote two books with college chum ... Read more »
Born: 09/28/1932 in Waxahachie, Texas, USA

Filmography

Writer (16)

Ice Harvest 2005 (Movie)

(Adaptation) (Screenplay)

Double Jeopardy 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Twilight 1998 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Nobody's Fool 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Nadine 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Places in the Heart 1984 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Still of the Night 1982 (Movie)

(From Story)

Still of the Night 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Kramer vs. Kramer 1979 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Superman 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Late Show 1976 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bad Company 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

What's Up Doc? 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Oh! Calcutta! 1971 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

There Was a Crooked Man 1970 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bonnie and Clyde 1967 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (12)

Feast of Love 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

The Human Stain 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

Twilight 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

Nobody's Fool 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Billy Bathgate 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Nadine 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Places in the Heart 1984 (Movie)

(Director)

Still of the Night 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Kramer vs. Kramer 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

The Late Show 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Bad Company 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Appointment in Samarra (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (6)

Paul Newman 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

A Great Day in Harlem 1995 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Homeward Bound 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Backstory (TV Show)

Actor
Producer (2)

Ice Harvest 2005 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The House on Carroll Street 1988 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Biography

Writer-director Robert Benton began his career in the literary world. The Texas native settled in NYC and found work in various editorial capacities at ESQUIRE magazine. He also co-wrote two books with college chum Harvey Schmidt and penned a children's book as well. While working at ESQUIRE, Benton became acquainted with David Newman, another editor, and the pair formed a writing partnership that included "Extremism: A Non-Book" and the libretto for the stage musical "It's a Bird . . . It's a Plane . . . It's Superman" (1996) before they segued to features. The pair scored a huge success and garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Story and Screenplay with their first effort, "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967), which director Arthur Penn put into production after it had been rejected by over a dozen producers.

Relationships

Dorothy Benton

Mother

John Benton

Son

Sallie Benton

Wife
married October 20, 1964

Ellery Benton

Father

EDUCATION

Columbia University

New York , New York
studied with Meyer Shapiro; dropped out after one semester

University of Texas at Austin

Austin , Texas 1953
classmates included actors Jayne Mansfield, Rip Torn (whom Benton later directed in 1987's "Nadine"), Barbara Barrie and lyricist Harvey Schmidt

Milestones

2007

Helmed "Feast of Love," a film based on the novel by Charles Baxter and featuring an ensemble cast

2005

Co-adapted Scott Phillips's "Ice Harvest," starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton

2003

Adapted the screen version of Philip Roth's novel "The Human Stain," featuring Nicole Kidman and Anthony Hopkins; also directed

1998

Again directed Newman in the contemporary detective story "Twilight," co-starring Stockard Channing, Gene Hackman, and Susan Sarandon

1994

First screen collaboration with Paul Newman, "Nobody's Fool", adapted from Richard Russo's novel; also marked final screen appearance of Jessica Tandy

1991

Directed Dustin Hoffman in film adapatation of E L Doctorow's "Billy Bathgate"; first time directing film he did not write; initial collaboration with Nicole Kidman

1988

First feature as producer (co-executive), "The House on Carroll Street," directed by Peter Yates

1984

Wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical "Places in the Heart"; earned Oscar nomination as Best Director; won Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay

1982

Directed Streep in the thriller "Still of the Night"

1979

Breakthrough feature as writer-director, "Kramer vs. Kramer"; film starred Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep; Benton won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay

1972

Feature directing debut, "Bad Company"; also co-wrote

1968

Contributed sketch material to the stage musical "Oh! Calcutta"

1967

Feature film co-writing debut (with Newman), "Bonnie and Clyde"; earned first Oscar nomination for script

1966

With David Newman, wrote the book for the Broadway musical "It's a Bird ... It's a Plane ... It's Superman"

1964

Short film co-directing and co-producing debut (with Elinor Jones), "A Texas Romance"; also created paintings

1961

First worked with future collaborator David Newman at Esquire; reportedly Benton and Newman developed the magazine's annual college issue and its Dubios Achievement Awards

1960

Became art director of Esquire

1953

Served in the U.S. Army; painted dioramas at Fort Bliss; discharged with the rank of corporal

Freelance writer and artistic associate with Esquire

Roomed with college chum Harvey Schmidt, with whom Benton wrote two books

Was a contributing editor to Esquire

Served as graphics editor with Esquire

Bonus Trivia

.

Not to be confused with veteran set decorator Robert Benton (a.k.a. Robert R Benton).

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