William Goldman famously penned the words “Nobody knows anything” in his Hollywood memoir “Adventures in the Screen Trade.” But in the wake of his passing, it is clear that the film industry does know one thing: how much Goldman will be missed.
The Oscar-winning screenwriter of “All the President’s Men” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” died early Friday due to complications from colon cancer and pneumonia. He was 87.
Many celebrities turned to social media to express their undying admiration and affection for a writer who mastered not just film, but publishing and theater as well.
Here’s a sampling of their testimonials.
RIP #WilliamGoldman. One of the greatest most successful screenwriters ever. I was lucky as hell to count Bill as a mentor and a friend. Check his credits & see a William Goldman movie or read a Goldman book over the holiday & give thanks that we had his voice in our world. https://t.co/RWRdCoO1Cm— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) November 16, 2018
So sorry to hear of the passing of William Goldman. He was both witty and talented. His screenplay of my book MISERY was a beautiful thing. Rest In Peace, Bill.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) November 16, 2018
“Nobody knows anything” is a liberating concept. It means don’t take no for an answer, be bold, try something new. Yes, the fall will probably kill ya... but listen to your inner voice. R.I.P. the great screenwriter William Goldman. pic.twitter.com/MmLLmsxQtt— Larry Karaszewski (@Karaszewski) November 16, 2018
Losing Bill Goldman made me cry. My favorite book of all time is The Princess Bride. I was honored he allowed me to make it into a movie. I visited with him last Saturday. He was very weak but his mind still had the Goldman edge. I told him I loved him. He smiled & said fuck you.— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) November 16, 2018
William Goldman was a narrative giant who understood story better than most. I mean, Princess Bride? C'mon. He will continue to teach us even after his passing. Rest in peace.— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) November 16, 2018
[reposted to correct autocorrect spelling error, dangit] https://t.co/hfwj8T3x7s
The great William Goldman, my dear friend of 40 years, passed away this morning at the age of 87. All he did in the same career was write "The Princess Bride" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and the screenplay for "All the President's Men." And that is the short list.— Mike Lupica (@MikeLupica) November 16, 2018
I was lucky, in 1984, to interview William Goldman at the Savoy. He brightened up when I told him that of all his books, I loved The Princess Bride, then his least successful book, the best. A gentleman: he wrote brilliant novels & screenplays & explained Hollywood to the world.— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 16, 2018
William Goldman. What can one do in the face of such a legacy but bow our heads in gratitude?— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) November 16, 2018
Legendary William Goldman, has died. He gave us ‘The Princess Bride’, ( book even better than the film) ‘Butch Cassidy-’ screenplay of "All the President's Men’ and best book on show biz, ‘Adventures in the Screen Trade’. He was also a true friend. Thank you dear Bill pic.twitter.com/dcwfYPd3ue— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) November 16, 2018
William Goldman’s philosophy of writing— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) November 16, 2018
“As a writer I believe that all the basic human truths are known. And what we try to do as best we can is come at those truths from our own unique angle, to reilluminate those truths in a hopefully different way.”
William Goldman wrote brilliant novels, screenplays and razor-sharp takes on filmmaking. He was also a very nice man. RIP.— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) November 16, 2018
William Goldman's All the President's Men is one of the best screenplays ever--a miracle of thoughtful adaptation. His most famous aphorism about Hollywood was "Nobody knows anything." I don't think he believed it for a minute. RIP.— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) November 16, 2018
William Goldman was an amazing guy. I need some time to gather my thoughts on this one. This hurts.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) November 16, 2018
And hundreds & hundreds of screenwriting teachers owe an unplayable debt to William Goldman for doing their job for them.— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) November 16, 2018
Thank you fore all the stories, the adventures, the characters, and those unforgettable one liners, William Goldman.— Sarah Watson (@SarahWatson42) November 16, 2018
I will always think of capybaras as Rodents of Unusual Size because of you. (They totally are, google image one.)
There are few screenwriter who have made the impact William Goldman has - on the form, on the culture, and on fellow writers. He is a world treasure. And though he is no longer with us, his films will be with us as long as people still have a love for cinema...— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) November 16, 2018
I don't know what to say or quote or remember because nothing will be right. My name is Morgenstern because of The Princess Bride. Goodbye, William Goldman.— erin morgenstern (@erinmorgenstern) November 16, 2018
As a teen, I read my first screenplay (a paperback of BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID) and was dazzled by it. I loved the movie, but seeing where it came from, how well it evoked the film before it existed, was a revelation.— Brad Bird (@BradBirdA113) November 16, 2018
To WILLIAM GOLDMAN, king among screenwriters. R. I.P. pic.twitter.com/tfssVHBFvm
RIP William Goldman - a man who seemed to see the screen so clearly & wrote for it wonderfully. Defying genre as he did - compare & contrast Butch, Princess Bride, Presidents & Misery. Devoured his films, devoured his books, nobody knows everything but he had SO MUCH to share.— Jack Thorne (@jackthorne) November 16, 2018
if Wm— Harvey Fierstein (@HarveyFierstein) November 17, 2018
if Wm, Goldman didn't entertain, inspire and allow you to dream then you just weren't listening. a great teacher, artist, and human being. William Goldman, ‘Legendary Adventurer in Screenwriting,’ Remembered by Hollywood https://t.co/shwzeigJ6k via @variety