“Chinatown” Screenwriter Robert Towne Has Passed Away

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Robert Towne, the screenwriter renowned for his Oscar-winning screenplay for Roman Polanski’s 1974 film “Chinatown,” has passed away at the age of 89.

His publicist, Carri McClure, confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter.

Often hailed as one of the greatest screenwriters of all time, Towne’s illustrious career included writing Oscar-nominated screenplays for “The Last Detail,” “Shampoo,” and “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes” (though he chose to be credited under the name of his dog, P.H. Vazak, due to dissatisfaction with production decisions).

Towne also contributed uncredited work on iconic films such as “Bonnie and Clyde,” “The Godfather,” “The Parallax View,” and “Heaven Can Wait.”

Francis Ford Coppola acknowledged Towne during his Oscar acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Godfather,” specifically praising the scene between Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in the garden.

In addition to his screenwriting achievements, Towne directed several films, including “Personal Best,” “Tequila Sunrise,” and “Ask the Dust.”

In his later career, he served as a consulting producer on “Mad Men” and collaborated with David Fincher on the script for a long-gestating “Chinatown” prequel series for Netflix.

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