R.I.P. Frank Pierson

Frank Pierson, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Dog Day Afternoon and a consultant on Mad Men, has died of natural causes following a short illness. He was 87 years old.

Pierson originally wrote for the TV series Naked City and Route 66 before penning the classic films Cat Ballou and Cool Hand Luke, for which he received Academy Award nominations. He eventually picked up the prize in 1975 for Sidney Lumet‘s iconic Dog Day Afternoon.

He wrote and directed the 1976 remake of A Star is Born, starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and continued to work regularly throughout the 1980s and 90s.

Pierson held the esteemed position of President of the Writers Guild of America, West for two terms, and was President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 2001 to 2005.

In his final years, he acted as a consultant on the acclaimed AMC drama Mad Men, co-writing the fifth season episode Signal 30 with show runner Matthew Weiner (it is, in my opinion, one of the best – if not the best – ep of the entire series so far).

He is survived by his wife Helene, and his children Michael and Eve.


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