Buck Henry, Legendary Screenwriter dies at 89

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Buck Henry, Legendary Screenwriter dies at 89
Buck Henry, Legendary Screenwriter dies at 89

Buck Henry, The Graduate writer and Get Smart co-creator, dies at 89, Deadline reports.

The website said he died Wednesday of a heart attack at Cedars-Sinai Health Center in Los Angeles.

Henry won a writing Emmy for “Get Smart,” the satirical 1960s TV spy series he created with Mel Brooks. He was twice nominated for Oscars: for adapted screenplay for Mike Nichols’ “The Graduate” (1967) and for co-directing “Heaven Can Wait” (1978) with Warren Beatty.

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Later big-screen writing credits included “Catch-22” (1970), “The Owl and the Pussycat” (1970), “What’s Up, Doc?” (1972), “The Day of the Dolphin” (1973), “To Die For” (1995) and “Town & Country” (2001).

He hosted “SNL” 10 times, all in the first five years of the show. He often appeared with John Belushi’s Samurai character, as the straight man reacting to the hot-tempered swordsman speaking in mock Japanese.

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On one segment, “Samurai Stockbroker,” Belushi swung his sword and accidentally sliced Henry in the face. “You wouldn’t believe how much blood from a forehead was on that floor,” Henry recalled in the book “Live From New York.”

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He pressed on with the live show, a clamp on his head, and sympathetic cast members begin feigning their own injuries. “By the end of the show,” Henry said, “when the camera pulls back, you see some of the crew are on crutches, others have bandages or their arms in slings. As if the whole show caught a virus. It was pretty funny.”

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