Oscar winning screenwriter and director Frank Pierson has died
at the age of 87 after a brief illness, reports Deadline. Pierson wrote some of the most iconic lines in movie history, including "What we have here is a failure to communicate" (Cool Hand Luke
) and "Attica! Attica!" (Dog Day Afternoon
, for which he won an Oscar).
Pierson wrote television shows in the 1950s such as
Have Gun, Will Travel
and Playhouse 90
before moving into feature films such as Cat Ballou
(that he co-wrote with Walter Newman),
A Star Is Born
(which he co-wrote with Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, and Presumed Innocent
Alan J. Pakula). Pierson continued to work into his 80s, serving as a
writer/consulting producer on Mad Men
and CBS' The Good Wife
Pierson was a former president of the Writers Guild, West, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences.
Phil Robinson, the Academy Governor (Writers Branch) issued this statement
Young rock 'n rollers always look to the old bluesmen as models of how to keep their art strong and rebellious into older years. For screenwriters, Frank has been our old blues master for a long time. From great, great movies like Cat Ballou, Cool Hand Luke, and Dog Day Afternoon, to his joining the writing staffs of The Good Wife and Mad Men well past his 80th birthday, he’s always shown us – better than anyone else – how to do it with class, grace, humor, strength, brilliance, generosity, and a joyful tenacity.
He was both a great and a good man, I miss him already, and I feel very, very lucky to have known him.
The Pierson family asks that any memorial donations be made to Stand Up 2 Cancer