A Hollywood legend, Buck Henry entertained audiences with his masterful skills both in front and behind the camera.
The Bafta-winning and Oscar-nominated screenwriter helped pen acclaimed film The Graduate and TV’s Get Smart with Mel Brooks.
Over a glittering career lasting decades, he made regular appearances presenting US sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live and lit up scenes as a side character in popular shows 30 Rock, Will & Grace and Law And Order: SVU.
Born in New York in 1930, he got his start in comedy writing for TV shows in the 1960s including the US version of That Was The Week That Was.
R.I.P. Buck Henry. Buck hosted 10 times during the show’s first initial five years and was the kind of guy who could get accidentally sliced in the head by Belushi’s sword, finish the sketch by jumping out a windows and still carry on with the rest of the show. Truly incredible. pic.twitter.com/ctMqccJyvl
— That Week In SNL (@ThatWeekInSNL) January 9, 2020
But Henry made his big break in 1967 when he co-wrote the Dustin Hoffman rom-com The Graduate.
The film earned a tranche of accolades, including Oscars, Golden Globes and Baftas – and is widely regarded as one of the best films of all time.
This was followed up with screenplays for Catch-22, The Owl And The Pussycat and Heaven Can Wait, among others.
Alongside his writing work, Henry also took on a raft of acting roles – amassing credits in more than 40 films and television shows.
He died on Wednesday aged 89 from a heart attack at Cedars-Sinai Health Center in Los Angeles.
His wife Irene was by his side at the time.
Comedian and film producer Judd Apatow paid tribute, saying: “Buck Henry was hilarious and brilliant and made us laugh more times than we even know.
“One of the greats.”
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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.
Actor and comedian Rob Schneider also hailed Henry’s work, writing on social media: “The Graduate changed movies forever and Heaven Can Wait is the best remake of all times. Both perfect films.
“And Buck was such a great gentleman to boot.”
American actress Justine Bateman said: “Buck Henry was the coolest of the cool.
“Great writer, great friend, impossible flirt. I love you, Buck.”
A spokesman for Bafta said: “We’re saddened to hear about the passing of the Bafta-winning screenwriter, Buck Henry.”