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.