Oscar-winning Screenwriter Bo Goldman Dies at 90

Master Screenwriter Bo Goldman's Legacy Shines On

by Nouman Rasool
Oscar-winning Screenwriter Bo Goldman Dies at 90

Renowned screenwriter Bo Goldman, celebrated for his Oscar-winning scripts for "One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest" and "Melvin and Howard," passed away at the age of 90. His son-in-law, director Todd Field, confirmed the sad news of Goldman's death, which occurred on July 25, 2023, in Helendale, California.

However, specific details about the cause of his passing have not been disclosed. Goldman's journey to success was not without its challenges. Despite being the son of a wealthy businessman, Julian Goldman, the Wall Street crash of 1929 left his father bankrupt, casting a shadow over his early life.

Bo Goldman pursued his passion for writing and theatre, attending Princeton and writing for the Princeton Triangle Club. Although his first play did not receive much acclaim, Goldman persevered, trying to get his Civil War musical, "Hurrah, Boys, Hurrah," produced.

During this time, he faced financial hardships, struggling to support his family, which eventually grew to include six children. It wasn't until he was in his forties that Goldman found his footing in Hollywood. In 1975, he achieved a breakthrough by adapting Ken Kesey's "One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest" for the big screen.

The film, directed by Miloš Forman and starring Jack Nicholson, not only won the Academy Award for Best Picture but also earned Goldman and Lawrence Hauben the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Oscar Triumphs and Hollywood Acclaim

Five years later, Goldman secured another Academy Award, this time for his work on Jonathan Demme's "Melvin and Howard," a comedy based on the life of Melvin Dummar, who claims to be a beneficiary of Howard Hughes' fortune.

These successes catapulted Goldman to the ranks of the finest screenwriters in Hollywood, alongside luminaries like Billy Wilder and Paddy Chayefsky. Throughout his career, Goldman exhibited a passion for capturing the essence of life on the screen.

His screenplays delved into the human experience with textured narratives and empathy, earning him praise as a master of screenwriting. His works also included the family drama "Shoot the Moon," the music-themed drama "The Rose" starring Bette Midler, and the Al Pacino-led "Scent of a Woman," which garnered him his third Oscar nomination.

Bo Goldman leaves behind a lasting legacy in the world of cinema, and his impact on the art of storytelling will continue to inspire aspiring writers for generations to come. As the film industry mourns the loss of this remarkable talent, his contributions will forever be cherished.

Goldman's surviving family, including four daughters, a son, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, can take pride in the enduring legacy he leaves behind.