The Graduate writer Buck Henry dead

The Graduate screenwriter Buck Henry has died, aged 89.

A family member confirmed the sad news to Deadline, revealing the legendary writer had passed away in Los Angeles on Wednesday night following a heart attack. His wife Irene was by his side at the time of his death.

Henry is most famous for penning the adapted screenplay for Mike Nichols’ 1967 romance drama The Graduate – which earned him and Calder Willingham an Oscar nomination. He was also nominated for an Oscar for co-directing 1978 movie Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beatty.


Among his other accolades was a writing Emmy, for the spy spoof Get Smart, which he created with Mel Brooks.

Henry also became known for his work on the small screen, hosting sketch show Saturday Night Live numerous times during its first five seasons.

Following his passing, hordes of Hollywood stars took to social media to pay tribute to Henry, with Judd Apatow writing on Instagram: “Buck Henry was hilarious and brilliant and made us laugh more times than we even know. I was lucky enough to be on a panel with him at SXSW and he was so funny. He said ‘I don’t like to write with people because if they aren’t as funny as me I hate them and if they are funnier than me I hate them.

“He wrote The Graduate and To Die For and co created Get Smart and was a riot hosting SNL back when they would let a writer host SNL. One of the greats.”

Family Guy producer and writer David Zuckerman added: “RIP #BuckHenry. The Graduate and Heaven Can Wait are perfect screenplays, and Get Smart was hilarious. Another comedy legend gone.”

And producer and writer Alan Zweibel, who worked with Henry on Saturday Night Live, wrote on Twitter: “R.I.P. my dear friend and mentor Buck Henry. My world will be missing a huge source of laughter that I will try my best to fill with so many memories. Oh my…this is a going to be a tough one.”