TV & Movies

Alvin Sargent dead: Julia, Ordinary People, Spider-Man trilogy writer dies

Alvin Sargent, the two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter, died Thursday of natural causes in Seattle, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which cites an announcement from Sargent’s friend, producer Pam Williams (Lee Daniels’ The Butler). He was 92.

Sargent earned his place among the honorees of the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts, & Sciences in 1978 when he won an Oscar for his adapted screenplay to 1977’s Julia, about playwright Lillian Hellman (played then by Jane Fonda) smuggling funds into Nazi Germany. He won his second Oscar in 1981 for Ordinary People, directed by Robert Redford about how the accidental death of a son affects the family.

1973’s Paper Moon, set in the Great Depression, put Sargent on the Academy’s radar with an Oscar nomination.

Comic book movie lovers will know Sargent’s work writing for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, beginning with 2004’s Spider-Man 2. He also wrote 2007’s Spider-Man 3 screenplay with Raimi and Raimi’s brother Ivan, and he worked on the screenplay for the Andrew Garfield-led Spider-Man reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man.

As filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie noted in his tribute to Sargent on Twitter Friday night, the writer’s work spans dozens of screenplays.

“Gambit, Paper Moon, A Star is Born, Straight Time, Ordinary People, What About Bob?, And a few Spidermans. Alvin Sargent 1927-2019,” McQuarrie tweeted. “The work speaks for itself.”

Other Hollywood figures paying tribute to Sargent and recalling fond memories of his work include Supernatural creator Eric Kripke, The Magicians co-creator John McNamara, and Chernobyl writer-producer Craig Mazin.

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