Syd Field, the influential screenwriting teacher who taught a generation of top scribes how to shape feature films and penned eight bestselling books on screenwriting, died Sunday at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 77.

According to a release from the Raindance Film Festival, which Field was supposed to attend last week, Field died of hemolytic anemia. He was surrounded by his wife, family and friends.

The Hollywood native received his B.A. in English Literature at UC Berkeley in 1960 and got his start in showbiz in the shipping department at Wolper Productions, earning $75 a week. Field went on to research and write for the original “Biography” television series, among other Wolper productions.

In addition to teaching his own classes that drew notable bizzers, Field chaired the Academic Liaison Committee at the Writers Guild of America, West served as lecturer at USC and AFI and was a special script consultant to 20th Century Fox, the Disney Studios, Universal and TriStar Pictures. He was also a special consultant to the Film Preservation Project for the Getty Center.

His final speaking engagement was delivering the keynote address at Story Expo in Los Angeles this past September.

Field was the first inductee into the Screenwriting Hall of Fame of the American Screenwriting Association.

Survivors include his wife, Aviva, and a brother.

Donations may be made to:

• SYDA Foundation, Donations, PO Box 600, S. Fallsburg, NY 12779, http://www.siddhayoga.org

• The PRASAD Project, 465 Brickman Road, Hurleyville, New York 12747, http://www.prasad.org

• Tower Hematology Oncology Medical Group,
9090 Wilshire Blvd.,
Suite 200
Beverly Hills, CA 90211