Helmer-scribe William “Billy” Nagle, who worked on more than 50 feature films and dozens of stage and television productions throughout his career, died of a heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital on Tuesday March 5. He was 54.
The Australian-born writer first achieved acclaim for his novel “The Odd Angry Shot” based on his experiences as a special forces officer in the Vietnam War. The book won Nagle the National Book Council Award and was later made into a film by Roadshow Films and which Nagle directed from his own screenplay. The film went onto win an honorable mention at the Cannes Film Festival.
He later wrote and produced the feature “Death of a Soldier,” which garnered him a best screenplay award at the Cork Film Festival and an AFI best-supporting actor nomination.
Nagle worked as a writer, director, or assistant director on films such as “A Bridge Too Far,” “Death in Venice,” “Passage to India,” and “Gandhi.” His last credits included directing “Wishes” with Amanda Plummer and Dee Dee Pfeiffer, as well as writing and producing “The Siege of Firebase Gloria,” starring R. Lee Ermey and Wings Hauser.
In addition to his film work, Nagle directed numerous legit productions at the Royal Shakespeare Co., the National Theater of Great Britain, the Moscow Circus, the Bolshoi Ballet, the New York State Dance Co. and others.
His efforts on television special events led him to work with prominent entertainers, such as Frank Sinatra, Dudley Moore, Eartha Kitt, Tony Bennett, the Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and Queen.
Nagle was a member of the Writers Guild of America, BAFTA, Directors Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America.
He leaves wife Laura Glendinning Nagle, a sister, niece and nephew.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to the William L. Nagle Scholarship Fund, c/o John Fitzgerald, 135 Aphrasia St., New Town, Geelong 3220, Australia.