Playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote, who movingly portrayed the broken dreams of common people in The Trip to Bountiful, Tender Mercies, and his Oscar-winning screen adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, died today in Connecticut at age 92. Foote's writing career spanned more than half a century and earned him two Academy Awards (Mockingbird and Tender Mercies) and a 1995 Pulitzer Prize for the play The Young Man From Atlanta.
Never one for urbane and trendy topics, Foote instead focused on ordinary people and how their nostalgic recollections would mislead them. "My first memory was of stories about the past—a past that, according to the storytellers, was superior in every way to the life then being lived," Foote wrote in 1988. "It didn't take me long, however, to understand that the present was all we had, for the past was gone and nothing could be done about it."