Gregory Allen Howard, who wrote the screenplays for the movies “Remember the Titans,” “Ali” and “Harriet,” died Friday at a Miami hospital. He was 70.
Allen died from a heart ailment, his publicist, Jeff Sanderson, told The Washington Post.
Howard’s films explored the struggles and successes of Blacks. Born in Norfolk, Virginia, he learned about Alexandria’s 1971 T.C. Williams High School football team on a trip home from Princeton University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in American history, Variety reported.
Sad to hear about the passing of Remember the Titans screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard. He was a trailblazer who fought to get Titans to the screen when “every single buying entity in Hollywood” rejected it twice, he told me in 2020 for @washingtonpost. https://t.co/ekpyj804qy pic.twitter.com/8b53gdyNX9— Ashley Spencer (@AshleyySpencer) January 28, 2023
Inspired by the story, Howard wrote the screenplay and became the first Black screenwriter to pen a $100 million drama. The 2000 film starred Denzel Washington in the lead role.
Howard’s 2001 film, “Ali,” starred Will Smith, Jamie Foxx and Jon Voight, according to IMDb.com. He took more than 25 years to complete “Harriet,” the story about the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, the Post reported. The 2019 film starred Cynthia Erivo in the title role, according to IMDb.com.
Howard’s other film credits include “The Harlem Renaissance,” “Misty” and “This Little Light.”
He was a two-time winner of the NAACP Image Award, a recipient of the Christopher Award, the Howard University Paul Robeson Award for artistic excellence and the Heartland Film Festival Award for screenwriting excellence, according to Variety.
Howard also taught a screenwriting course at Howard University as a visiting professor, the Post reported.
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