Oscar-Winning Screenwriter Robert Towne Passes Away at 89

Oscar-Winning Screenwriter Robert Towne Passes Away at 89

Renowned screenwriter Robert Towne, celebrated for his Oscar-winning work on the classic film “Chinatown,” has died at the age of 89.

Towne passed away on Monday, July 1, at his home, as confirmed by his PR firm, McClure & Associates, on behalf of his family.

Towne’s storied career reached a pinnacle with his Academy Award win for Best Original Screenplay for “Chinatown” at the 47th Academy Awards in 1975. The 1974 film, featuring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, was a critical success, earning 11 Oscar nominations. Towne’s script for the iconic Los Angeles-set thriller also garnered him a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and a Writers Guild of America (WGA) award.

Beyond “Chinatown,” Towne’s talent was widely recognized in the film industry. He received three additional Oscar nominations for his work on “The Last Detail,” “Shampoo,” and “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.” His exceptional writing skills earned him three WGA awards, including one for the acclaimed drama series “Mad Men.”

Towne’s contributions to cinema were acknowledged with numerous accolades throughout his career. In 1997, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the WGA, underscoring his significant impact on the industry.

Even in his later years, Towne remained active in the entertainment world. In 2019, he was reported to be collaborating with director David Fincher and Netflix on a pilot script for a prequel series to “Chinatown,” demonstrating his enduring passion for storytelling and his commitment to the craft.

As the film industry mourns the loss of one of its most talented screenwriters, Towne’s legacy lives on through his influential works that continue to inspire and captivate audiences. The cause of his death has not been disclosed.

Robert Towne’s passing marks the end of an era, but his contributions to cinema will be remembered and celebrated for generations to come.