Robert Benton
Robert Douglas Benton

(1932-09-29) September 29, 1932 (age 90)
Occupation(s)Film director, screenwriter, producer
Years active1967–2007
Sallie Rendig
(after 1964)

Robert Douglas Benton (born September 29, 1932) is an American screenwriter and film director. He is best known as the writer and director of the film Kramer vs. Kramer, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. He had previously written the screenplay (with David Newman) for the film Bonnie and Clyde.

Early life

Benton was born in Waxahachie, Texas, the son of Dorothy (née Spaulding) and Ellery Douglass Benton, a telephone company employee.[1] He attended the University of Texas and Columbia University.[1]


In 1959, he co-wrote the book The IN and OUT Book with Harvey Schmidt, published by The Viking Press. He was the art director at Esquire in the early 1960s.[2]

Benton won the Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Best Original Screenplay for Places in the Heart (1984).

Benton garnered three additional Oscar nominations: two for Best Original Screenplay for both Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and The Late Show (1977) and one for Best Adapted Screenplay for Nobody's Fool (1994).

He also directed Twilight (1998) and Feast of Love (2007), and co-wrote the screenplays for Superman (1978) and The Ice Harvest (2005).

In 2006, he appeared in the documentary Wanderlust.

Personal life

He married artist Sallie Rendig in 1964.[3][4]



Year Film Director Writer Notes
1972 Bad Company Yes Yes Directorial debut
1977 The Late Show Yes Yes
1979 Kramer vs. Kramer Yes Yes Based on the novel by Avery Corman
1982 Still of the Night Yes Yes
1984 Places in the Heart Yes Yes
1987 Nadine Yes Yes
1991 Billy Bathgate Yes Based on the novel by E. L. Doctorow
1994 Nobody's Fool Yes Yes Based on the novel by Richard Russo
1998 Twilight Yes Yes
2003 The Human Stain Yes Based on the novel by Philip Roth
2007 Feast of Love Yes Based on the novel by Charles Baxter


Year Film Writer Producer Notes
1964 A Texas Romance, 1909 Yes Short film[5]
1967 Bonnie and Clyde Yes
1970 There Was a Crooked Man... Yes
1972 What's Up, Doc? Yes
1978 Superman Yes
1988 The House on Carroll Street Executive
2005 The Ice Harvest Yes Executive


Year Title Notes
1966 It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman Libretto; adaptation in television film (1975)
1969 Oh! Calcutta! Contribution in libretto; adaptation in theatrical film (1972)

Film awards




  1. ^ a b "Robert Benton". Film Reference.
  2. ^ "Honoree Robert Benton dealt with dyslexia before awards". Sarasota Herald-Tribute.
  3. ^ "Overview for Robert Benton". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  4. ^ "SALLIE BENTON | Official Artist Website". Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  5. ^ Communications, Emmis (December 1967). The Alcalde. Emmis Communications.
  6. ^ "Berlinale: 1985 Prize Winners". Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  7. ^ "Acclaimed Screenwriter-Director Robert Benton to Receive Screen Laurel Award at 2007 Writers Guild Awards". Writers Guild of America, West. December 11, 2006. Archived from the original on January 16, 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-16.

Archival sources