Larry McMurtry Dies At Age 84: Oscar-Winning Screenwriter Who Won Before Brokeback Mountain Has Dies
Academy Award-winning screenwriter and novelist Larry McMurtry died Thursday at the age of 84.
The news was confirmed by McMurtry family spokesman Amanda Lundberg in an obituary published by the New York Times
Neither the cause nor the location of the writer’s death were made public.
Rest in peace: Larry McMurtry passed away on Thursday at the age of 84; he is pictured in 2013
The media figure is survived by his son James and grandson Curtis, as well as his wife Norma Faye, whom he married in 2011.
Born on June 3, 1936, McMurtry grew up on a ranch just outside his hometown of Archer City, Texas.
In his first memoir, released in 2008, he recalled that although his childhood home had no books, his family gathered every night to tell stories.
He went on to study creative writing at Stanford University, where he met other aspiring writers such as Gurney Norman and Ken Kesey.
After leaving California, McMurtry served as a lecturer in English at Rice University in his home state of Texas. he had previously obtained a master’s degree from the institution.
Big Achievement: McMurtry was known for his work on the screenplay for the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, on which he collaborated with Diana Ossana; the writing couple is pictured in 2006
In 1964 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his efforts in the field of fiction and won several awards for his published works.
Two years later, his 1961 novel Horseman, Pass By was adapted into a film starring Paul Newman entitled Hud, who was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won three.
After the success of the Western drama, McMurtry’s works were quickly noticed by many producers who wanted to adapt his works for both film and television.
In 1971, Peter Bogdanovich released an adaptation of his semi-autobiographical novel The Last Picture Show, which had been published five years earlier and sold more than nine million copies.
The writer and filmmaker collaborated on the film’s script and were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for their work.
Committed to the Craft: McMurtry was known as a prolific novelist and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1964 for his work
The Last Picture Show was also nominated for Best Picture, but lost to The French Connection.
In 1983, James L. Brooks adapted McMurtry’s 1975 novel Terms of Endearment into a film, starring Jack Nicholson and Debra Winger, among others.
The family comedy drama won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Several of the writer’s other works were turned into films, such as Texasville, The Evening Star, and Lovin ‘Molly, which was based on his 1962 novel Leaving Cheyenne.
Gripping Story: McMurtry and Ossana adopted Brokeback Mountain from the 1997 short story of the same name; Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal star in the 2005 film
The author was also known for his work on the script for the 2005 romantic drama film Brokeback Mountain, which was directed by Ang Lee.
The feature film is an adaptation of Annie Proulx’s eponymous short story, which was published in The New Yorker in October 1997.
For his efforts on the screenplay of the film, which he co-wrote with Diana Ossana, McMurtry received the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The pair also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay for their work.
Doubling Down: In addition to their Oscar, McMurtry and Ossana won a Golden Globe Award for their work on Brokeback Mountain; the two are pictured in 2006
The writer also worked as a bookseller and maintained a bookstore called Booked Up in his hometown of Archer City.
McMurtry’s latest project as a screenwriter came with the 2020 film Good Joe Bell; this was also the second time he had worked with Ossana.
The feature film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2020 and received mixed reviews from critics.
In 2014, McMurtry was awarded the National Humanities Medal for his contributions to the American canon of literature.
Serious Achievement: In 2014, McMurtry was awarded the National Humanities Medal for his work as a writer; he receives the medal from then president Barack Obama