Oscar-Winning Screenwriter Frank Pierson Dies at 87

July 23, 2012


Writer/director/producer Frank Pierson, whose screenplay for Dog Day Afternoon earned an Oscar, has reportedly died at the age of 87.

Pierson first began his career in the late '50s, writing for TV series Have Gun - Will Travel, Naked City, and Route 66 before finally sharing a film credit on the 1965 Jane Fonda Western Cat Ballou, earning himself a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award nomination in the process. Two years later, he was already nominated for a second Oscar--a nod for the Cool Hand Luke script he co-wrote with Donn Pearce--but it wasn't until nearly a decade later he'd finally win for Dog Day Afternoon. Though he'd never again be recognized by the Academy for his writing, he would see himself esteemed by the organization in another capacity, serving as President of AMPAS from 2001 to 2005. He was also President of the Writers Guild of America, west from 1981 to 1983.

Pierson continued writing, producing, and directing--increasingly for television--right up until his death, most-recently serving as consulting producer on Mad Men, for which he wrote last season's fifth episode, Season 30. Thus, he's likely the one who wrote the line, "BECAUSE HE WAS CAUGHT WITH CHEWING GUM ON HIS PUBIS!"

Perhaps more notably, he also wrote this scene from Cool Hand Luke:

But still, let's never forget his contribution to pubis dialogue.

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