Robert Benton

Robert Douglas Benton (born September 29, 1932) is an American screenwriter and film director. He won the Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and won a third Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Places in the Heart (1984).

Robert Benton
Robert Douglas Benton

(1932-09-29) September 29, 1932
Waxahachie, Texas, United States
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, producer
Years active1967–present
Sallie Rendig
(m. 1964)

Benton also garnered three additional Oscar nominations: two for Best Original Screenplay for both Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and The Late Show (1977) and one for Best Adapted Screenplay for Nobody's Fool (1994).

He has also directed Twilight (1998) and Feast of Love (2007) and co-wrote the screenplays for Superman (1978) and The Ice Harvest (2005).

Life and career

Benton was born in Waxahachie, Texas, the son of Dorothy (née Spaulding) and Ellery Douglass Benton, a telephone company employee.[1] He attended the University of Texas and Columbia University.[1] Benton has won numerous awards for both writing and directing in film. In 1959, he co-wrote the book The IN and OUT Book with Harvey Schmidt, published by The Viking Press. He was the art director at Esquire in the early 1960s. In 2006 he appeared in the documentary Wanderlust. He married artist Sallie Rendig in 1964.[2][3]



1972Bad Company
1977The Late Show
1979Kramer vs. KramerBased on the novel by Avery Corman
1982Still of the Night
1984Places in the Heart
1991Billy BathgateBased on the novel by E. L. Doctorow
1994Nobody's FoolBased on the novel by Richard Russo
2003The Human StainBased on the novel by Philip Roth
2007Feast of LoveBased on the novel by Charles Baxter


1966It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's SupermanCharles Strouse
1967Bonnie and ClydeArthur Penn
1970There Was a Crooked Man...Joseph L. Mankiewicz
1972What's Up, Doc?Peter Bogdanovich
Oh! Calcutta!, contributionJacques Levy
Bad CompanyBenton
1977The Late ShowBenton
1978SupermanRichard Donner
1979Kramer vs. KramerBenton
1982Still of the NightBenton
1984Places in the HeartBenton
1994Nobody's FoolBenton
2005The Ice HarvestHarold Ramis

Film awards



  • 1968 - Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay for Bonnie and Clyde
  • 1968 - Golden Globe for Best Screenplay for Bonnie and Clyde
  • 1977 - Golden Bear at Berlin for The Late Show
  • 1978 - Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay for The Late Show
  • 1980 - Golden Globe for Best Director - Motion Picture for Kramer vs. Kramer
  • 1981 - César Award for Best Foreign Film for Kramer vs. Kramer
  • 1985 - Academy Award for Directing for Places in the Heart
  • 1985 - Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures for Places in the Heart
  • 1985 - Golden Globe for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture for Places in the Heart
  • 1995 - Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay for Nobody's Fool


  1. "Robert Benton". Film Reference.
  2. "Overview for Robert Benton". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  3. "SALLIE BENTON | Official Artist Website". Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  4. "Berlinale: 1985 Prize Winners". Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  5. "Acclaimed Screenwriter-Director Robert Benton to Receive Screen Laurel Award at 2007 Writers Guild Awards". Writers Guild of America, West. December 11, 2006. Archived from the original on January 16, 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-16.

Archival Sources

  • The Robert Benton Papers 1969-1994 (24 linear feet) are housed at the Wittliff Collections, Texas State University in San Marcos.
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