Full introduction about Horton Foote

Albert Horton Foote Jr. (March 14, 1916 – March 4, 2009) was an American script writer, got famed from 1962 film kill the mockingbird, the movie is the adaption of novel by the same name by Harper Lee, and his first film, Tender Mercies (1983). He was also known for his visual dramas on television during the Golden Age of Television.

Horton Foote won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1995 for his play The Young Man From Atlanta and two Academy Awards, one for the first Tender Mercies and the other for a screenplay (To Kill a Mockingbird). In 1995, Foote was the first recipient of the Austin Film Festival’s Distinguished Screenwriter Award. In 2000, he was awarded the Medal National of Arts.

Early Life

Horton Foote was born in Wharton, Texas, his parents were Harriet Gautier “Hallie” Brooks (1894-1974) and Albert Horton Foote (1890-1973). His younger brothers were Thomas Brooks Foote (1921–44), who died in an air raid on Germany during World War II, and John Speed ​​Foote (1923-95).


Horton Foote started as an actor after studying at the Pasadena Playhouse in 1931-32. After receiving better reviews of the plays he had written than his impersonation, he focused on writing in the 1940s. During 1950’s he was one the leading writer of American TV, he was also featured on the  episode of The Gabby Hayes Show. The Trip to Bountiful began airing on March 1, 1953, on NBC with leading members (Lillian Gish, Eva Marie Saint) rewriting their roles on Broadway later this year.

Throughout the 1950s, Foote wrote for Philco Television Playhouse, United States Steel Hour, Playhouse 90, Studio One, and Armchair Theater, among others. He continued in the 1960s with the ITV Playhouse and the DuPont Show of the Month.

He translated William Faulkner’s “Old Man” into television twice, in 1958 and 1997; received an Emmy nomination for two years, and won the 1997 play (Outstanding Writing of a Miniseries or Special).

Theater career

Foote’s plays were produced on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and regional theaters, such as the Goodman Theater in Chicago.

He wrote an English translation of Japan’s first 1970s music book Scarlett, a musical adaptation of Gone with the Wind.

He won the Pulitzer Prize for the 1995 Drama of The Young Man From Atlanta. [18] The Goodman Theater drama presented on Broadway in 1997 was nominated for the Tony Award Best Play but did not win. Starring Rip Torn, Shirley Knight, and Biff McGuire. Knight and McGuire were also nominated for the Tony Awards.

In 1996, Foote was admitted to the American Theater Hall of Fame.

In 2000, Foote recieved the PEN / Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as Master American Dramatist.


Foote received the Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay and the Writers Guild of America Screen Award for his 1963 Mockingbird Assassination. Foote did not attend the Oscars in 1963 because he did not expect to win, so he was not present to collect the award in person, however, he was accepted by the film’s producer, Alan J. Pakula.

Foote personally praised actor Robert Duvall in Boo Radley’s episode Killing Mockingbird after meeting him during the 1957 production of The Midnight Caller at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. The two will work together many times in the future. Foote described Duvall as “our best actor”.

The 1983 film Tender Mercies

 was rejected by many American film directors before Australian director Bruce Beresford finally accepted it; Foote later stated, “This Movie has been rejected by every American director on the face of the earth.” The film received the 1984 Academy Award nominations, which included Best Picture (Lost) and Best Original Screenplay (received by Foote). Duvall won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his work and knowing his failure to attend the 1963 festival, Foote confirmed he was attending the 1984 event. The film also received the Foote the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay.

Foote often wrote screenplays based on his plays, such as the semi-autobiographic trilogy of 1918 (1985), Valentine’s Day (1986), and Courtship (1987) .1918 and On Valentine’s Day were shot in Waxahachie, Texas.

Her screen drama The Trip to Bountiful (1985) earned her Academy Award nomination with Geraldine Page for winning an Academy Award for Best Actress.

He also adapted the works of other writers, such as John Steinbeck (Mice and Men directed and starring Gary Sinise and John Malkovich).

In addition to Faulkner’s Old Man, he also turned Faulkner’s short story Tomorrow into a 1972 film starring Robert Duvall. Foote had previously turned the story into a Playhouse 90 television series in 1960. [35] Leonard Maltin, in his book The Directors of Movies, calls the movie the film’s best practice in any of Faulkner’s works. Regarding Faulkner’s case, Foote said, “Faulkner I never met but he liked [my flexibility] because he allowed me to share dynamic patents on Old Man and tomorrow … So in other words, you should get both our permits.”

Playwright Lillian Hellman adapted her 1952 and 1956 dramas for the 1966 film The Chase, with Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, and Robert Redford.

Foote gave Jefferson Davis the voice of Ken Burns’ highly acclaimed novel, The Civil War (PBS, 1990), and his play The Habitation of Dragons (TNT, 1992) and Lily Dale (Showtime, 1996) preceded Horton Foote‘s Alone’s Showtime production ( 1997). His last work was a stint in Main Street, a fascinating 2010 film.

Personal Life

Foote was married to Lillian Vallish Foote from June 4, 1945, until she died in 1992. Their four children are the characters Albert Horton Foote III and Hallie Foote, playwright Daisy Brooks Foote, and director, author, and lawyer Walter Vallish Foote.

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