William D. Wittliff
William D. Wittliff (born January 1940), sometimes credited as Bill Wittliff, is an award winning American screenwriter, author and photographer who wrote the screenplays for The Perfect Storm (2000), Barbarosa (1982), Raggedy Man (1981) and many others.
Wittliff was born in Taft, Texas and moved to Blanco as a teenager. He studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and worked for a publishing house in Austin and was business and production manager for the Southern Methodist University Press in Dallas. In 1964, he started his own publishing house, Encino Press. The last book from the Encino Press was Blue & Some Other Dogs by John Graves, issued in 1981.
Wittliff met Willie Nelson in the late 1970s and he was a writer on Honeysuckle Rose (1980) and Barbarosa (1982), which both starred Nelson. Wittliff agreed to write a script based on Nelson's album Red Headed Stranger (1975). Wittliff finished a draft in 1979 and Universal Studios green-lighted the film with a budget of $14 million. The studio wanted Robert Redford to play the "Red Headed Stranger," a role Nelson had envisioned for himself. Redford turned the part down and Nelson and Wittliff gave back their advances to buy the script back. Wittliff went on to direct and co-produce (along with Nelson) the film Red Headed Stranger (1986).
Wittliff wrote screenplays for the Lonesome Dove mini-series (1989) for which he won a Writers Guild of America Award in 1990 for Season 1, Episode 1: "Leaving." and a Bronze Wrangler award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. In 1995, he won another Bronze Wrangler for Legends of the Fall (1994). Witliff also received Austin Film Festival's Distinguished Screenwriter Award in 1996.
In 1986, Wittliff founded the Southwest Writers Collection at Southwest Texas State University, which featured work by writers from the Southwest. In 1996, he founded the Witliff Collection of Southwestern and Mexican Photography, which is currently located on the top floor of Texas State University - San Marcos's Albert B. Alkek library. The Wittliff Collection also features a permanent exhibition containing items from Lonesome Dove.
In 1996, Wittliff was the recipient of the Austin Film Festival's Distinguished Screenwriter Award.
Wittliff's photography work is included in the books Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy (2004), La Vida Brinca (2006), and A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove (2007).
- William D. Wittliff at the Internet Movie Database