ROBERT BENTON (director-screenwriter) has been honored
with Academy Awards® for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay
for the Academy Award winning film "Kramer vs. Kramer."
He also won an Oscar® for best original screenplay for "Places
in the Heart."
Benton was raised in Waxachachie, Texas and earned his BFA degree
from the University of Texas before moving to New York to pursue
his Masters Degree at Columbia University. Accepting a position
at Esquire magazine, Benton became assistant to the art director
before serving in the Army where he was stationed at Fort Bliss,
Returning to Esquire after his discharge from the service, Benton
was soon promoted to art director, a position he held for four
years until his first screenplay, "Bonnie and Clyde"
(co-written with David Newman) went into production. That same
year their play "Superman" opened on Broadway.
The success of "Bonnie and Clyde" resulted in a contract
with Warner Bros., for whom Benton and Newman first scripted "There
Was a Crooked Man," directed by Joseph Mankiewicz. Benton
then made his directorial debut with his own script (co-written
with David Newman) of "Bad Company," starring Jeff Bridges.
He then wrote and directed "The Late Show," starring
Art Carney and Lily Tomlin.
In 1978, Benton re-teamed with Newman and Newman's wife Leslie
on the screenplay for the box-office hit "Superman!"
starring Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder and Marlon Brando. His
next project, "Kramer vs. Kramer," starring Dustin Hoffman
and Meryl Streep, won the Best Picture Academy Award and
earned Benton two Oscars®, one for best screenplay and one
for best director.
Benton's subsequent films as a writer-director were "Still
of the Night," "Nadine," "Places in the Heart"
and "Nobody's Fool." For "Places in the Heart,"
he received an Oscar® for best original screenplay.
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