Buck Henry, writer of 'The Graduate', dies at 89

Ben ArnoldContributor
Yahoo Movies UK
Buck Henry (Credit: John Lamparski/WireImage)
Buck Henry (Credit: John Lamparski/WireImage)

Buck Henry, actor and screenwriter behind iconic movie The Graduate, has died at the age of 89.

He died in hospital in Los Angeles following a heart attack, his wife Irene confirmed to the Washington Post.

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Henry began writing comedy for US variety shows, and for the British satirical series That Was The Week That Was, before co-creating the spoof spy series Get Smart with Mel Brooks in 1965.

He adapted The Graduate from Charles Webb's novel, directed by Mike Nichols and starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, two years later, on his second foray into movie writing.

Dustin Hoffman and Buck Henry in The Graduate (Credit: RDB via Getty Images)
Dustin Hoffman and Buck Henry in The Graduate (Credit: RDB via Getty Images)

He caught an Oscar nomination for his trouble.

Henry also had a small role in the movie, as the hotel desk clerk.

After his success on The Graduate, he went on to write and co-write movies like Catch-22, screwball comedy What's Up, Doc? and latterly movies like Gus Van Sant's comedy-drama To Die For.

He also made dozens of appearances in front of the camera too.

Bill Murray, Laraine Newman and Buck Henry on Saturday Night Live (Credit: AP Foto/NBC, Alan Singer)
Bill Murray, Laraine Newman and Buck Henry on Saturday Night Live (Credit: AP Foto/NBC, Alan Singer)

Henry hosted Saturday Night Live 10 times in all (a record only broken by Steve Martin), and later appeared in shows like Will & Grace and 30 Rock, in which he played the father of Tina Fey’s character Liz Lemon.

On the big screen, he snagged roles in Altman's The Player and Short Cuts, as well as The Man Who Fell To Earth, Grumpy Old Men and the lead in Milos Forman's Taking Off.

He also dabbled in directing, making Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beatty in 1978.

Many in Hollywood have paid tribute to his legacy.

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