Robert Klane, ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ and ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ Filmmaker, Dies at 81

Robert Klane, the screenwriter for “Weekend at Bernie’s” and “Where’s Poppa?” and the director of “Thank God It’s Friday, has died. He was 81 years old.

Klane’s son Jon Klane confirmed the news to TheWrap. He said of his dad, “His quick, razor wit lit up every room he walked into. He was a fearless, magnetic, presence whose unique brand of black comedy delivered guilty pleasures for those capable of laughing at their own dark impulses.”

In addition to those films, Klane worked as a writer on a number of movies and TV shows, including “The Man With One Red Shoe,” six episodes of “M*A*S*H*” and “Tracey Takes On,” which won an Emmy.

“Weekend at Bernie’s” is Klane’s most well-known work, though in 2014 he filed a lawsuit alongside the film’s director claiming the pair had not been paid residuals owed from the movie since its 1989 release. Klane and Red Kotcheff argued that they had not been properly compensated for their work and were owed a share of the more than $30 million the movie had made. According to Law360, Klane and Kotcheff’s case fell apart because they waited too long to file.

Klane was born on Oct. 17, 1941, in Port Jefferson, New York. He attended college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated in 1963, after studying under novelist Betty Smith, who wrote “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” Klane first gained attention as an author with the release of his 1968 novel “The Horse Is Dead: A Tasteless Novel.”

The money Klane made by selling the rights to the book allowed him the space and opportunity to write his second, “Where’s Poppa?.” The book is described as the”sophomore effort of a clearly disturbed mind representing a singular moment in American literary history; one in which the legacies of such authors as Joseph Heller and JD Salinger arrive at an unimaginably lewd yet inevitable terminus.”

The sale of his book rights helped Klane move his family to Los Angeles and work on the movie and his third novel, “Fire Sale,” which was also adapted into a film that was directed by and starred Alan Arkin.

Klane is survived by his wife, J.C. Scott, his brother Larry, his three children, and five grandchildren. His daughter Tracy died in 2011.

Variety first reported the news of Klane’s death.

The post Robert Klane, ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ and ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ Filmmaker, Dies at 81 appeared first on TheWrap.