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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Horton Foote 1916 - 2009

One of America's most popular writers, Horton Foote, has died at 92. Foote is best known for writing the screenplay of the classic 1962 film, "To Kill a Mockingbird", for which he won an Oscar. Other major award nods included an Oscar for writing the Robert Duvall vehicle, "Tender Mercies", an Oscar nomination for "The Trip to Bountiful", as well as the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play, "The Young Man From Atlanta". Coincidentally, in all three of Foote's Oscar nominated screenplays, the lead actor from those films won an Oscar for Best Actor/Actress, Gregory Peck for "To Kill a Mockingbird", Robert Duvall for "Tender Mercies" and Geraldine Page for "A Trip to Bountiful".
Foote was a native Texan and was best known for creating quiet but powerful characters whose strong Southern values got them through difficult emotional crises. The dialogue in his works was rich, multi-layered and deceptively simple. He reminded us over and over that the shy, quiet people in our lives are not only, sometimes the most interesting people, but also sometimes the most strong.
(gregory peck and brock peters in "to kill a mockingbird")
And for the real trivia buffs out there, we know that Peck and Duvall both owe their Oscars to Foote's screenplays, but many may not realize that Duvall's film debut was in "Mockingbird", playing Boo Radley.

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