Home » Born Today » Happy Birthday, William Goldman

Happy Birthday, William Goldman

William-GoldmanMr. Goldman, you were my first favorite author. In 1974 I was 14 years old and I purchased a paperback novel titled The Princess Bride and I never looked at fiction ever the same again.

I remember walking around saying “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die!’ And everyone looked at me like I was an idiot. But I didn’t care. After I read the book three times in a row, I went and found paperback copies of everything you had written up to then. The Temple of Gold (1957); Your Turn To Curtsy; My Turn To Bow (1958); Soldier In The Rain (1960); Boys and Girls Together (1964); No Way To Treat A LadyI (1964); The Thing Of It Is … (1967). I was hooked! 


First edition copy of The Princess Bride, 1974.

And then I discovered you had also written one of the coolest movies ever – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. Then came the novels (and screenplays) for Marathon Man (“Is it safe?”)and Magic (a perfectly creepy book and a disturbing movie with Anthony Hopkins.)   

All told, 16 novels, 9 books of non-fiction, 38 screenplays and two Academy Awards (Butch and All The President’s Men). And  of course, the best book about Hollywood, Adventures in the Screen Trade, hands down the funniest book every written, in which you shared Hollywood’s greatest unspoken secret (until then)  … goldman, nobody knows anything

And of course, your heroic effort to get The Princess Bride made into a movie that reflected what your readers expected of that special book may be your greatest contribution to cinematic history. When it was released in 1987, I was suddenly confronted with everyone walking around saying “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die!'”  All I could do was smile, happy that millions more people (who would never read a book) had finally
discovered the quirky joys of Bride.William-Goldman-Quotes-1

Mr. Goldman, you have been a major part of my life for 40 years, and even though I would have appreciated a few more novels …  I cannot say “thank you”  enough.


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