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Buck Henry

  • Birthplace: New York City, New York
  • Birthday: December 09
Date of passing: 
January 08, 2020

Obituary

Obituary: 

Buck Henry was an American actor, screenwriter, and director.

Henry began his show business career with a brief stint in stand-up comedy. He then trained in improvisational theater and began writing for television and performing in variety shows such as The Steve Allen Show, The Garry Moore Show, and That Was the Week That Was, a satirical news show.

Henry co-created (with Mel Brooks) the television spy spoof Get Smart, winning an Emmy Award for writing the "Ship of Spies" episode.

Buck Henry was an American actor, screenwriter, and director.

Henry began his show business career with a brief stint in stand-up comedy. He then trained in improvisational theater and began writing for television and performing in variety shows such as The Steve Allen Show, The Garry Moore Show, and That Was the Week That Was, a satirical news show.

Henry co-created (with Mel Brooks) the television spy spoof Get Smart, winning an Emmy Award for writing the "Ship of Spies" episode.

He received two Academy Award nominations: the first for the screenplay for Mike Nichols's 1967 film The Graduate (with Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft), and the second for co-directing the 1978 comedy Heaven Can Wait with star Warren Beatty. Henry wrote scripts for the 1968 sex farce Candy (with Richard Burton and Marlon Brando), based on the novel by Terry Southern, and for the 1970 film adaptation of Joseph Heller's book Catch-22 (also directed by Nichols). Henry wrote the screenplays for two Barbra Streisand comedies: The Owl and the Pussycat (1970), and What's Up, Doc? (1972).

Henry's later film credits include the 1980 political comedy First Family (with Bob Newhart, Madeline Kahn, and Gilda Radner) which he wrote and and directed, and the screenplay for To Die For (1995), a mock documentary about an ambitious, narcissistic newscaster (played by Nicole Kidman).

During its first five seasons, Henry hosted Saturday Night Live a then-record 10 times. These appearances included Henry playing straight for John Belushi in the show's "Samurai" sketches. His other television appearances as an actor include episodes of Falcon Crest, Murphy Brown, Tales from the Crypt, Will & Grace, Hot in Cleveland, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and 30 Rock, playing Liz Lemon's (Tina Fey) father.

Henry appeared as himself in Robert Altman's 1992 movie The Player, a Hollywood satire that began with Henry pitching a producer (Tim Robbins) on a sequel to The Graduate.

Henry died January 8, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. He was 89.

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