Buck Henry, 'The Graduate' and 'Catch-22' Screenwriter and Actor, Dead at 89
By Zach Seemayer
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images
Buck Henry, the acclaimed screenwriter, TV icon and comic actor, has died.
The celebrated writer -- best known for penning the screenplays for The Graduate, Catch-22, and What's Up, Doc? -- died of a heart attack at Cedars-Sinai Health Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, Deadline reports. He was 89.
Henry was nominated for two Oscars, first for his screenplay for The Graduate -- Dustin Hoffman's breakthrough drama of disillusionment in 1969 -- and for co-directing the 1978 romantic comedy Heaven Can Wait, alongside Warren Beatty.
Henry is also celebrated for co-creating the iconic TV comedy Get Smart, alongside Mel Brooks, and for his frequent guest appearances hosting Saturday Night Live during the show's formative first few seasons.
Henry was also a celebrated comic actor who appeared in over 40 films and dozens of TV shows -- including a recurring role on the celebrated sitcom 30 Rock, in which he played Dick Lemon, the father of Tina Fey's Liz Lemon.
Following the news of his death, friends, fans, and colleagues took to Twitter to share their memories of his indelible career and tributes to his legacy.
Buck Henry was absolutely one of the greats. Both for his stellar career and commitment to TV & film comedies (Get Smart, Saturday Night Live, The Graduate, Heaven Can Wait etc etc etc), but also for his amazing work at Plato's Retreat. pic.twitter.com/NvsdJUpfIz
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
When I was writing Pictures at a Revolution, Buck Henry was on my must-get list of interviewees, but I didn't realize just how important he was until after we spoke. He lived in many realms, observed everything, missed nothing. It was a privilege to listen to him.
Once we did a show called Tiny Vaudeville. Buck Henry was in it. He and I watched @EbanSchletter and @Jeremykonner rehearse Dueling Banjos on theramin and saw respectively. Buck said to me, dry as the Sahara, “it’s so peculiar.” It was one of my life’s perfect moments. https://t.co/RjN7TVb7V4
RIP Buck Henry, a true comic genius. Among his many and varied achievements, I will most remember him the creator (with Mel Brooks) of Get Smart and one of the early regular hosts of Saturday Night Live. If you think you don't know Buck Henry, look up what he worked on. You do.