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Buck Henry 1930-2020

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Buck Henry 1930-2020

Old 01-08-20, 11:51 PM
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Buck Henry 1930-2020

Buck Henry has passed away today, Most famous for co-writing The Graduate, and rightly so. But he also was an Oscar Nominee for co-Directing (and also co-starred in) my favorite movie of all time Heaven Can Wait (1978). When I pass, I hope and expect to be greeted at the pearly gates by Buck Henry and James Mason (and I once told James Mason's son that exact thing).

Buck Henry Dies: ‘The Graduate’ Writer, ‘Get Smart’ Co-Creator & Early ‘SNL’ Favorite Was 89

By Erik Pedersen

January 8, 2020 6:49pmBuck Henry in 'Taking Off,' 1971Universal/Kobal/ShutterstockBuck Henry, the legendary screenwriter behind The Graduate and What’s Up, Doc? who also co-created Get Smart and was a regular presence in the early years of Saturday Night Live, died tonight of a heart attack at Cedars-Sinai Health Center in Los Angeles. He was 89.

A family member confirmed the news to Deadline.
Warren Beatty in ‘Heaven Can Wait’Paramount/Kobal/ShutterstockHenry scored a pair of Oscar nominations — one for his adapted screenplay for The Graduate and another for directing with Warren Beatty the 1978 movie Heaven Can Wait. He also won a writing Emmy in 1967 for Get Smart, the spy spoof he created with Mel Brooks, among many other accolades.

He became a familiar face to a new generation of TV viewers by hosting Saturday Night Live several times during its first five seasons. He might be best remembered as John Belushi’s foil in the classic “Samurai” skits.

Henry also had more than three dozen other acting credits.

“I wish I could do what writers of my generation do, which is just — open the gate and let it come out,” he said in a 2009 “The Interviews” sit-down for the TV Academy Foundation. “I envy them. It’s hard for me to do. That’s why I liked writing for television because I had to do something every day. … So the best secret is — and it’s not a secret — is just when [you] get stuck in a scene, write nonsense. But do something to keep your hand moving, doing something on the page. That’s all. There are no great insights.” Watch a clip of Henry talking about writing comedy about dark topics below.

Notable Hollywood and Entertainment Industry Deaths In 2020

Henry got his start writing for Steve Allen and Garry Moore’s TV shows in the 1960s before penning the script for The Graduate, Mike Nichols’ seminal film starring Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross and Anne Bancroft. The film focused on the generation gap of the later 1960s and includes a number of memorable scenes and lines. Who could forget Hoffman’s college-age Benjamin Braddock telling Bancroft’s older character, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.” Later, after she asks Benjamin, “Do you find me undesireable?” he tells her, “Oh no, Mrs. Robinson, I think you’re the most attractive of any of my parents’ friends.”

Classic Henry.

The film, which featured the timeless-but-Oscar-ineligible Simon & Garfunkel hit “Mrs. Robinson,” scored seven Oscar noms including Best Picture, with Nichols winning Best Director. The pic made the top 10 in the AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movies list in 1998.
Don Adams as Agent 86 in ‘Get Smart’Moviestore/ShutterstockGet Smart, starring Don Adams as the bumbling yet somehow effective Maxwell Smart, aka Agent 86, debuted on NBC in 1965. Driven by the popularity of the James Bond films, the CONTROL-vs.-KAOS sitcom was an early hit, finishing the season No. 12 among all primetime programs. Co-starring Barbara Feldon and Edward Platt, it moved to CBS for its fifth and final season in 1969-70. Along with one of TV’s greatest opening credits, a number of the show’s catchphrases would become pop-culture lore: “Missed it by that much,” “I think it’s only fair to warn you …,” “Sorry about that, Chief,” “I demand the Cone of Silence” — and the list goes on.

Adams would reprise his iconic role for the 1980 feature The Nude Bomb, and — would you believe … — Steve Carrel starred in a 2008 Get Smart movie.

In his TV Foundation interview, Henry recalled how he and Brooks got the idea for Get Smart. “Nobody seems to remember it but me,” he said. “I go to [Talent Associates partner Danny Melnick’s office], and he says, ‘I want to give you guys an idea: What are the two biggest movies in the world today? James Bond and Inspector Clouseau. Get my point?’ … It’s parody and satire.”

ABC paid for the Get Smart pilot but passed on the series. Melnick then took it to NBC titan Grant Tinker, who was looking for a project for his contract actor Adams.

Henry would focus his screenwriting on the big screen during the 1970s, penning such films as Catch-22, The Owl and the Pussycat, Is There Sex After Death?, the Barbra Streisand starrer What’s Up, Doc? and The Day of the Dolphin.
Henry and John Belushi on ‘Saturday Night Live’SNL/ShutterstockHe had appeared onscreen in numerous films and comedy shows by the mid-’70s when he was chosen to host Saturday Live Night during its first season in 1976. Appearing alongside the Not Ready for Primetime Players, he would go on to host nine more times through 1980, becoming the first SNL host to hit double digits. Among his memorable characters was the Samurai interviewer/straight man; Uncle Roy, who menaced children he was babysitting; a sadistic stunt coordinator; and Mr. Dantley, the father of Bill Murray’s uber-nerd Todd in the latter’s famous sketches with Gilda Radner.

During that time Henry also created Quark, a short-lived 1978 NBC sitcom that starred Richard Benjamin that spoofed the era’s popular space epics. In 1984, NBC debuted variety-sketch The New Show, on which Henry was a regular alongside SCTV alum Dave Thomas and others. It aired briefly as a midseason replacement.

Henry would go on to co-pen the Nicole Kidman feature To Die For (1995) and the star-laden 2001 pic Town & Country. Early big-screen screenplay credits include the Radner-led First Family (1980) — his only featuring directing credit other than Heaven Can Wait — and Candy (1968), whose cast included Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, James Coburn and Walter Matthau.

Henry also had acting roles in numerous movies — including most of the ones he wrote — and appeared as a guest on numerous talk shows including those hosted by Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Dick Cavett, Mike Douglas and David Frost. His most recent acting credits include episodes of Franklin & Bash, Law & Order: SVU, Hot in Cleveland and 30 Rock.

Among the numerous awards Henry racked up during his career are 1994 Golden Globe and Venice Film Festival prizes as part of theensemble in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts, BAFTA and Writers Guild awards for writing The Graduate and another WGA Award for What’s Up, Doc?

Survivors include his wife, Irene, who was by his side when he died. He had no children.
Old 01-09-20, 12:22 AM
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Re: Buck Henry 1930-2020

What a talent!

RIP
Old 01-09-20, 12:24 AM
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Re: Buck Henry 1930-2020

Old 01-09-20, 10:30 AM
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Re: Buck Henry 1930-2020

I believe he accidentally dropped an F bomb on SNL. Might have been the first person to say that word on live tv.
Old 01-09-20, 12:55 PM
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Re: Buck Henry 1930-2020

RIP...I'm still to this day creeped out by that old SNL bit with him playing the creepy babysitter taking pics.
Old 01-09-20, 03:11 PM
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Re: Buck Henry 1930-2020

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
I believe he accidentally dropped an F bomb on SNL. Might have been the first person to say that word on live tv.
Now that I think about it that was Paul Schafer.
Old 01-09-20, 06:03 PM
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Re: Buck Henry 1930-2020





Are we still allowed to remember him with any fondness when his "so-called" comedy asked us to laugh at mocking Asians and celebrating child molesters?
Old 01-09-20, 06:09 PM
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Re: Buck Henry 1930-2020

You realize he didn't write either of those sketches, right?

A better question would be "Are we still allowed to remember him with any fondness after watching Town & Country?". But I imagine that I am the only one here to have ever seen that movie (but hey it's free on VUDU!)
Old 01-09-20, 07:20 PM
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Re: Buck Henry 1930-2020

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
You realize he didn't write either of those sketches, right?
Why would that matter?




Old 01-09-20, 08:39 PM
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Re: Buck Henry 1930-2020

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
You realize he didn't write either of those sketches, right?

A better question would be "Are we still allowed to remember him with any fondness after watching Town & Country?". But I imagine that I am the only one here to have ever seen that movie (but hey it's free on VUDU!)
One of my best friends loves that film and keeps trying to convince me to give it another chance. I doubt I will, and we often joke about burying copies of the film with whoever dies first. I better outlive that bastard.
Old 01-10-20, 12:52 PM
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Re: Buck Henry 1930-2020

The samurai chef wasn’t mocking Asians. It was Belushi doing a Toshiro Mifune impression.
Old 01-10-20, 06:26 PM
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Re: Buck Henry 1930-2020

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
The samurai chef wasn’t mocking Asians. It was Belushi doing a Toshiro Mifune impression.
You know as well as I do that in 2020, Belushi's samurai is understood as completely offensive yellow-face, and that no amount of context can mitigate the egregiousness of his act or the harm he has caused to generations of Asians. It is only too bad that he is long dead and cannot be forced to apologize repeatedly, and then disappear forever.
Old 01-10-20, 06:28 PM
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Re: Buck Henry 1930-2020

I hope I detect sarcasm.

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