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The Legendary Buck Henry Was a Subversive Comic Genius

Tony Sokol Jan 9, 2020

Buck Henry, who created classic comedy for big and small screens, dies at 89.

Genius comedy writer and actor Buck Henry died of a heart attack at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Health Center at the age of 89, according to Variety. Henry was a frequent host on Saturday Night Live, wrote the screenplays for such comedy classics as The Graduate and What’s Up, Doc? and co-created Get Smart with Mel Brooks.

Buck Henry, who was born Henry Zuckerman on Dec. 9, 1930, was the son of silent film actress Ruth Taylor, who was also the star of the original Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. His stockbroker father was a retired Air Force brigadier general named Paul Steinberg Zuckerman. Given Henry’s penchant for comic corruption, this may have informed the educational subterfuge he mined to adapt, along with collaborator Calder Willingham, Charles Webb's novel The Graduate for Mike Nichols' 1967 classic generational comedy. “I

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