|Born||Charles McColl Portis|
December 28, 1933
El Dorado, Arkansas, U.S.
|Died||February 17, 2020 86) (aged|
Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
|Notable works|| True Grit |
Charles McColl Portis (December 28, 1933 – February 17, 2020) was an American author best known for his novels Norwood (1966) and the classic Western True Grit (1968), both adapted as films. The latter also inspired a film sequel and a made-for-TV movie sequel. A newer film adaptation of True Grit was released in 2010.
Portis has been described as "one of the most inventively comic writers of western fiction".
Charles Portis was born in 1933 in El Dorado, Arkansas, the son of Alice (Waddell) and Samuel Palmer Portis. He was raised and educated in various towns in southern Arkansas, including Hamburg and Mount Holly.
During the Korean War, Portis enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and reached the rank of sergeant.After receiving his discharge in 1955, he enrolled in the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He graduated with a degree in journalism in 1958.
Portis began writing in college, for both the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville student newspaper, Arkansas Traveler, and the Northwest Arkansas Times . One of his tasks was to redact the colorful reporting of "lady stringers" in the Ozarks, a task credited as a source for the vivid voice that he created years later for his character Mattie Ross in True Grit.After Portis graduated, he worked for various newspapers as a reporter, including the Memphis Commercial Appeal and almost two years at the Arkansas Gazette , for which he wrote the "Our Town" column.
He then moved to New York City, where he worked for four years at the New York Herald Tribune . His work led him to return to the South frequently to cover civil rights–related stories during the early 1960s. After serving as the London bureau chief of the New York Herald Tribune, he left journalism in 1964.
Portis next returned to Arkansas and began writing fiction full-time. In his first novel, Norwood (1966), he showed his preference for travel narratives with deadpan dialogue, combined with amusing observations on American culture. Set sometime from 1959 through 1961, the novel revolves around Norwood Pratt, a young, naïve ex-Marine living in Ralph, Texas. He is persuaded by con man Grady Fring (the first of several such characters created by Portis) to transport two automobiles to New York City. Norwood encounters a variety of people on the way to New York and back, including ex-circus midget Edmund Ratner ("the world’s smallest perfect fat man"), Joann ("the college-educated chicken"), and Rita Lee, a girl Norwood woos and wins on the bus ride back to the South. Norwood was adapted as a movie in 1970, starring Glen Campbell as the title character, with Kim Darby and the football star Joe Namath.
Like Norwood, his novel True Grit (1968) was first serialized in condensed form in The Saturday Evening Post . The story is told in first person from the perspective of Yell County native Mattie Ross. At the time of the novel's events, she is a prim, shrewd, strong-willed, Bible-quoting 14-year-old girl. When her father is murdered in Fort Smith, Arkansas, by Tom Chaney, a hired hand, she sets out to bring the killer to justice. She recruits Deputy Marshal Rooster Cogburn — in whom Mattie sees one possessed of "grit" — to help her hunt down Chaney (who has joined an outlaw band) to "avenge her father’s blood". Both satirical of Westerns and realistic, the novel succeeded through its taut story line, Mattie's believable narrative voice, its sharp dialogue, and a journalistic attention to details.[ citation needed ]
Both Norwood and True Grit were adapted as movies, with fellow Arkansan Glen Campbell and Kim Darby in leading roles in the two films. Both pictures were commercially successful. John Wayne won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, one of the top box-office hits of 1969. True Grit was released on June 11, 1969, earning US$14.25 million at the box office. A second film version, written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, debuted in December 2010.
Portis published several short pieces in The Atlantic Monthly , including the memoir "Combinations of Jacksons"and the story "I Don't Talk Service No More".
Portis lived in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he died of Alzheimer's disease on February 17, 2020, at the age of 86.
Short fiction, articles, etc.
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, collectively referred to as the Coen Brothers, are American film directors, producers, screenwriters, and editors. Their films span many genres and styles, which they frequently subvert or parody. Their most acclaimed works include: Raising Arizona (1987), Miller's Crossing (1990), Fargo (1996), The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), No Country for Old Men (2007), Burn After Reading (2008), A Serious Man (2009), True Grit (2010), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018).
Norwood may refer to:
True Grit is a 1969 American Western film starring John Wayne as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, Glen Campbell as La Boeuf and Kim Darby as Mattie Ross. It is the first film adaptation of Charles Portis' 1968 novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Marguerite Roberts. Wayne won his only Oscar for his performance in the film and reprised his role for the 1975 sequel Rooster Cogburn.
Joseph Taylor Robinson, also known as Joe T. Robinson, was an American politician from Arkansas. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 23rd Governor of Arkansas, as the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, and was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in the 1928 presidential election.
Rooster Cogburn is a 1975 American adventure Western film directed by Stuart Millar and starring John Wayne reprising his role as U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn, and Katharine Hepburn. Written by Martha Hyer, based on the character Rooster Cogburn created by Charles McColl Portis in his 1968 Western novel True Grit, the film is about an aging one-eyed lawman whose badge was recently suspended for a string of routine arrests that ended in bloodshed. To earn back his badge, he is tasked with bringing down bank robbers who have hijacked a wagon shipment of nitroglycerin. He is helped by a spinster searching for her father's killer. Rooster Cogburn is a sequel to the 1969 film True Grit.
Norwood is a 1970 American comedy film that reunites True Grit co-stars Glen Campbell and Kim Darby, also featuring Joe Namath. It was based on the novel of the same title, written by Charles Portis, but updated from the original 1950s setting to 1970.
Kim Darby is an American actress best known for her role as Mattie Ross in the film True Grit (1969).
Isaac Charles Parker was an American politician and jurist. He served as a United States Representative from Missouri and was appointed as the first United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, which also had jurisdiction over Indian Territory.
Highway 22 is an east–west state highway in the Arkansas River Valley. It is maintained by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD). The highway runs 75.60 miles (121.67 km) from US 64/US 71B east to Highway 7 in Dardanelle. Following the historic stagecoach line of the cross-country Butterfield Trail, the highway is one of the original 1926 state highways. It is designated by the AHTD as the True Grit Trail.
Norwood is the first novel written by author Charles Portis. It was published in 1966 by Simon & Schuster. The book follows its namesake protagonist on a misadventurous road trip from his hometown of Ralph, Texas, to New York City and back. During the trip, Norwood is exposed to a comic array of personalities and lifestyles. The novel is a noteworthy example of Portis's particular skill rendering Southern dialect and conversation.
True Grit is a 1968 novel by Charles Portis that was first published as a 1968 serial in The Saturday Evening Post. The novel is told from the perspective of a woman named Mattie Ross, who recounts the time when she was 14 and sought retribution for the murder of her father by a scoundrel, Tom Chaney. It is considered by some critics to be "one of the great American novels."
Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn is a fictional character who first appeared in the 1968 Charles Portis novel, True Grit.
True Grit: A Further Adventure is a 1978 American made-for-television western film directed by Richard T. Heffron. It is a sequel to True Grit (1969) and Rooster Cogburn (1975). While John Wayne portrays Rooster Cogburn in the first two films, Warren Oates takes over the role in this 1978 television version. Lisa Pelikan portrays Mattie Ross, played in the first film by Kim Darby. The supporting cast features Lee Meriwether and Parley Baer.
The following is a list of the Perry Mason novels and short stories by Erle Stanley Gardner, published from 1933 to 1973.
James Jackson McAlester was an American Confederate Army soldier and merchant. McAlester was the founder of McAlester, Oklahoma as well as a primary developer of the coal mining industry in eastern Oklahoma. He served as the United States Marshal for Indian Territory (1893–1897), one of three members of the first Oklahoma Corporation Commission (1907–1911) and the second Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma (1911–1915).
Speer Morgan is an American novelist, short story writer, and editor.
True Grit is a 2010 American Revisionist Western film directed, written, produced, and edited by the Coen brothers and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. It is an adaptation of Charles Portis' 1968 novel of the same name, and stars Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross and Jeff Bridges as Deputy U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn, along with Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and Barry Pepper. A previous film adaptation in 1969 starred John Wayne, Kim Darby and Glen Campbell.
The Dog of the South is a 1979 novel by Charles Portis.
Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany is a collection of non-fiction, journalism, short stories, and single play - Delray's New Moon - by the novelist Charles Portis, the author most famous for True Grit. Subjects covered by Portis include the civil rights movement, a road trip in Baja, and Elvis Presley's visit to his aging mother. Some of the works originally appeared in such publications such as the New York Herald Tribune and Saturday Evening Post.
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