WASHINGTON: The award-winning screenwriter of “Remember the Titans,” Gregory Allen Howard, died in Miami, Florida, following a brief illness. He was 70.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the publicist of Howard confirmed the news and the actor passed away on Friday.
Howard was best known for penning the screenplay for the 2000 classic sports film “Remember the Titans,” starring Denzel Washington and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Based on a true story, the film follows the story of Herman Boone, a new African American football coach as he trains a high school team during their first season as a racially integrated group.
Howard began his writing career at the age of 48, with his first project being the Harriet Tubman biopic “Harriet,” which was originally assigned to him at Disney as reported by Variety. However, the film didn’t materialise until 2015, when Howard joined producers Debra Martin Chase and Daniela Taplin Lundberg, with Kasi Lemmons co-writing the screenplay. Starring Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monae and Joe Alwyn, “Harriet” was released in 2019.
At the red carpet premiere of Harriet, Howard told The Hollywood Reporter, “What I waited for more than anything else is for the whole industry to change. There needed to be the #OscarsSoWhite and [more] diversity in Hollywood. All that had to happen, because anybody who greenlighted this movie was risking their job and/or career.”
In addition to “Remember the Titans” and “Harriet,” the writer was part of several other notable projects, namely “Ali,” “The Harlem Renaissance,” “Misty” and “This Little Light.” Howard received many accolades over his career; he was a two-time winner of the NAACP Image Award, a recipient of the prestigious Christopher Award, and the Howard University Paul Robeson Award for artistic excellence, reported by Variety.
Howard earned a story-writing credit for Michael Mann’s ‘Ali’, the 2001 biopic of sports legend Muhammad Ali. The film, which was nominated for two Oscars, starred Will Smith, Jamie Foxx and Jon Voight, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter.
Howard had a number of projects in development, including The Magician, a biopic on quarterback Marlin “The Magician” Briscoe.
Howard is survived by his sister Lynette Henley, brother Michael Henley, nieces Robyn Bacon and Valencia Kamara, nephew Robert Henley, a grand-niece, two grand-nephews and cousins Pierre Gatling and Patricia Cole, reported by Variety. (ANI)