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Robert Benton
Robert Douglas Benton

(1932-09-29) September 29, 1932 (age 90)
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, producer
Years active 1967–2007
Sallie Rendig
(after 1964)

Robert Douglas Benton (born September 29, 1932) is an American screenwriter and film director. He is best known as the writer and director of the film Kramer vs. Kramer, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. He had previously written the screenplay (with David Newman) for the film Bonnie and Clyde.

Early life

Benton was born in Waxahachie, Texas, the son of Dorothy (née Spaulding) and Ellery Douglass Benton, a telephone company employee. He attended the University of Texas and Columbia University.


In 1959, he co-wrote the book The IN and OUT Book with Harvey Schmidt, published by The Viking Press. He was the art director at Esquire in the early 1960s.

Benton won the Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Best Original Screenplay for Places in the Heart (1984).

Benton garnered three additional Oscar nominations: two for Best Original Screenplay for both Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and The Late Show (1977) and one for Best Adapted Screenplay for Nobody's Fool (1994).

He also directed Twilight (1998) and Feast of Love (2007), and co-wrote the screenplays for Superman (1978) and The Ice Harvest (2005).

In 2006, he appeared in the documentary Wanderlust.

Personal life

He married artist Sallie Rendig in 1964.


Year Title Director Writer Executive
1967 Bonnie and Clyde No Yes No
1970 There Was a Crooked Man... No Yes No
1972 What's Up, Doc? No Yes No
Bad Company Yes Yes No
1977 The Late Show Yes Yes No
1978 Superman No Yes No
1979 Kramer vs. Kramer Yes Yes No
1982 Still of the Night Yes Yes No
1984 Places in the Heart Yes Yes No
1987 Nadine Yes Yes No
1988 The House on Carroll Street No No Yes
1991 Billy Bathgate Yes No No
1994 Nobody's Fool Yes Yes No
1998 Twilight Yes Yes No
2003 The Human Stain Yes No No
2005 The Ice Harvest No Yes Yes
2007 Feast of Love Yes No No


Year Title Notes
1966 It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman Libretto; adaptation in television film (1975)
1969 Oh! Calcutta! Contribution in libretto; adaptation in theatrical film (1972)

Film awards



  • 1968 - Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay for Bonnie and Clyde
  • 1968 - Golden Globe for Best Screenplay for Bonnie and Clyde
  • 1977 - Golden Bear at Berlin for The Late Show
  • 1978 - Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay for The Late Show
  • 1980 - Golden Globe for Best Director - Motion Picture for Kramer vs. Kramer
  • 1981 - César Award for Best Foreign Film for Kramer vs. Kramer
  • 1985 - Academy Award for Directing for Places in the Heart
  • 1985 - Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures for Places in the Heart
  • 1985 - Golden Globe for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture for Places in the Heart
  • 1995 - Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay for Nobody's Fool

Archival sources

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