Guild honors screenwriter with Screen Laurel Award

The Writers Guild of America West has tapped Robert Benton as the recipient of its Screen Laurel Award.

Benton will be presented the kudo at the guild’s Feb. 11 awards ceremony. Previous winners include Billy Wilder, Horton Foote, Preston Sturges, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, John Huston, Blake Edwards, Mel Brooks, John Michael Hayes, David Mamet and Lawrence Kasdan.

Benton won directing and screenwriting Academy Awards for “Kramer vs. Kramer” and a scripting Oscar for “Places in the Heart.” He received Oscar noms for directing “Places in the Heart” and for penning “Bonnie & Clyde,” “The Late Show” and “Nobody’s Fool.”

“What an impressive and varied screenwriting career Robert Benton has had,” said WGA West prexy Patric Verrone. “Yet what hasn’t varied is the quality of his work and audiences’ appreciation of it.”

Benton won WGA awards for “Bonnie & Clyde,” “What’s Up Doc?” and “Kramer vs. Kramer” and received WGA noms for “Bad Company,” “The Late Show,” “Superman” and “Places in the Heart.” In 1995, the WGA East gave Benton its Ian McLellan Hunter Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in writing.

Benton’s credits include “Still of the Night,” “Nadine,” “Billy Bathgate,” “Twilight” and “The Ice Harvest.” He recently completed directing the film “Feast of Love.”

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