William Richert

Screenwriter, Director, Actor
Iconoclastic writer-director-producer-actor William Richert became known as an uncompromising Hollywood outsider, who despite daunting odds, managed to helm a small number of uniquely personal films. After receiving his ... Read more »
Born: 11/30/1943 in Florida, USA

Filmography

Actor (8)

Manic 2003 (Movie)

Diego (Actor)

River Phoenix 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

ATF 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Millennium 1998 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Three Musketeers Meet the Man in the Iron Mask 1998 (Movie)

Count Aramis (Actor)

The Client 1994 (Movie)

Harry Bono (Actor)

Paradise Framed 1993 (Movie)

Thomas Durango (Actor)

My Own Private Idaho 1991 (Movie)

Bob Pigeon (Actor)
Writer (6)

A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

American Success Company 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Winter Kills 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Law and Disorder 1974 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Happy Hooker 1974 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (5)

A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

American Success Company 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

Winter Kills 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

First Position 1973 (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (4)

Law and Disorder 1974 (Movie)

(Producer)

First Position 1973 (Movie)

(Producer)

Derby 1971 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

Iconoclastic writer-director-producer-actor William Richert became known as an uncompromising Hollywood outsider, who despite daunting odds, managed to helm a small number of uniquely personal films. After receiving his start in television and theater, Richert launched his career with the documentaries "Derby" (1971) and "First Position" (1972). His second effort as a feature film director, the conspiracy thriller "Winter Kills" (1979), became more notorious for its absurd, scandalous road to completion than for its modest legacy as an overlooked cult classic. He went on to direct the late River Phoenix in the 1960s coming-of-age drama "A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon" (1988), which was based on a novel Richert had written at the age of 19. Much of Richert's late-career credits were as an actor, such as his reteaming with Phoenix onscreen for Gus Van Sant's "My Own Private Idaho" (1991). Other projects included mounting a low-budget version of "The Man in the Iron Mask" (1998), for which he served as writer, director and supporting player. In retrospect, the paucity of commercially successful works over the course of Richert's 30-plus year career belied a man firmly committed to his craft and the art of filmmaking, albeit on his own terms.

Relationships

Father
moved with his family to nearly 30 different cities while Richert was a child

Mother
Irish frequently broke up and reconciled with Richert's father

Nick Richert

Son

EDUCATION

Reportedly attended 20 different grammar schools in almost as many states throughout his childhood

Milestones

1995

Episodic TV directing debut, "These Foolish Things", an episode of "The Marshal"

1995

First TV guest shot, played the quarry of "The Marshal" in the ABC police adventure series

1994

First character role in a mainstream Hollywood film, "The Client"

1991

Played the major supporting role of the Falstaffian Bob Pigeon in Gus Van Sant Jr's "My Own Private Idaho"; second screen collaboration with Phoenix

1988

Helmed his own adaptation of his first novel, "Aren't You Even Gonna Kiss Me Goodbye?", as "A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon" starring River Phoenix

1980

With Claire Townsend, formed the Invisible Studio to release and distribute "Winter Kills" and "The American Success Company/Success" (date approximate)

1978

In December, won financial backing from Avco-Embassy to shoot a final two weeks on "Winter Kills"

1978

Scripted (from a Larry Cohen story) and directed "The American Success Company/Success" (released in 1979), a dark satire of capitalism and machismo starring "Winter Kills" star Jeff Bridges; shot in Munich and backed by German tax shelter money

1976

Began production on "Winter Kills", his feature directorial debut; production halted by unions for non-payment of salaries; MGM impounded the negative; production went into bankruptcy; one producer was murdered execution-style while another was jailed for

1976

Adapted Richard Condon's novel for the screenplay of "Winter Kills"

1975

Over ten days, scripted the sanitized comic biopic of NYC madam Xaviera Hollander, "The Happy Hooker"

1974

Produced and scripted "Law and Disorder", director Passer's US film debut, starring Carroll O'Connor and Ernest Borgnine

1972

Produced and directed "First Position", a documentary about young lovers at the American Ballet School

1970

Produced "Derby", a "cinema verite" documentary feature about a young roller derby enthusiast

1968

Made first film, a documentary entitled "Presidents' Daughters"; reportedly partially suppressed by the Nixon White House; 12 minutes were extracted and shown on a 1969 segment of CBS's news magazine "60 Minutes"; rest of film subsequently "lost" (date ap

1966

"Aren't You Even Gonna Kiss Me Goodbye?" published

1965

Inspired to direct after seeing Czech filmmaker Milos Forman's "Loves of a Blonde" at the New York Film Festival

1963

Between assignments, wrote his first novel, "Aren't You Even Gonna Kiss Me Goodbye", at age 19 (date approximate)

1962

Became a press agent for the "Steve Allen Show" at 18 (date approximate)

1961

Came to Hollywood on a bus at age 17 (date approximate)

Worked as a freelance speechwriter for the chairman of Westinghouse, a sponsor of the "Steve Allen Show"

Inspired by the writings of Jack Kerouac and other "beat" writers, wrote poetry that was published in the POTOMAC REVIEW and other journals; performed poetry on the mid-West coffee-house circuit

Temporarily relocated to NYC; became involved with the American Place Theatre

Sought out Forman to film his screenplay; failed to collaborate with Forman but did begin association with another Czech filmmaker, director Ivan Passer

Wrote a screenplay based on his novel

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