1 Oscar Directors: Benton, Robert–Background, Career, Awards, Filmography

Research in Progress: Oct 27, 2021

Robert Benton Career Summary:

Occupational Inheritance: No

Social Class: middle class; father telephone company employee

Nationality: US; Waxahachie, Texas

Education: University of Texas and Columbia University.


First Film: Bad Company, 1972; age 40

Gap First Film and First Nom:

First Oscar Nomination: Kramer Vs. Kramer, 1979; age 47

Gap between First Film and First Nom: 7 years

Other Nominations: Places in the Heart, 1984; age 52; 3 screenplay noms

Other Oscars: Best Adapted Screenplay, Places in the Heart, 1984; age 52

Best Film: Late Detective, 1977

Genre (specialties):

Career: Overestimated director


Last Film: 2007; age 75


Career Output: small (11 films)

Career Span: 1972-2007; 35 years

Marriage: artist Sallie Rendig in 1964


Retirement: yes

Death: NA

Robert Douglas Benton (born September 29, 1932), a screenwriter and director, is one of the most overestimated filmmakers in history.

Benton was born in Waxahachie, Texas, the son of Dorothy (née Spaulding) and Ellery Douglass Benton, a telephone company employee.

He attended the University of Texas and Columbia University.

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.

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

Writer Kudos

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.

He married artist Sallie Rendig in 1964.

Filmography (Directing): 11 films in 35 years

Four good films: Late Show, Kramer, Places in Heart, Nobody’s Fool

Last 3 very bad

1972 Bad Company

1977 The Late Show

1979 Kramer vs. Kramer Based on the novel by Avery Corman

1982 Still of the Night

1984 Places in the Heart

1987 Nadine

1991 Billy Bathgate, based on the novel by E. L. Doctorow

1994 Nobody’s Fool, based on the novel by Richard Russo

1998 Twilight

2003 The Human Stain, based on the novel by Philip Roth

2007 Feast of Love, based on the novel by Charles Baxter