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Lewis John Carlino Dies: ‘Great Santini’ Writer-Director & ‘Rose Garden’ Oscar Nominee Was 88

Deadline logo Deadline 6/24/2020 Erik Pedersen
a close up of a man wearing a green shirt © WhidbeyTV via Vimeo

Lewis John Carlino, who scripted and directed The Great Santini and earned an Oscar nom for penning I Never Promised You a Rose Garden among many other credits, has died. He was 88.

Carlino died June 17 on Whidbey Island off Washington. Michael O’Keefe, who starred opposite Robert Duvall in 1979’s Great Santini, confirmed the news and posted a video in tribute on June 18:

Carlino was a three-time WGA Award nominee for penning the adapted screenplays for Great Santini and Rose Garden (1977) and his original script for The Brotherhood (1968). He also scored a Golden Globe nom for co-scripting 1967’s The Fox with Howard Koch.

Born on New Year’s Day 1932 in New York City, Carlino began his career writing for TV in the early 1960s. He wrote the 1972 Charles Bronson action-thriller The Mechanic, which also featured a young Jan-Michael Vincent, and then penned the 1974 pic Crazy Joe, starring Peter Boyle as Mafioso Joey Gallo.

Carlino’s  first feature as writer-director was The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea (1976), which earned Golden Globe noms for its stars Sarah Miles and Kris Kristofferson. After co-writing I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, starring Karen Quinlan as a mentally disturbed teenager, Carlino would make The Great Santini, starring Duvall in his Oscar-nominated role as Ben Meechum based on the Pat Conroy novel.

Carlino went on to write the features Resurrection (1980) and Haunted Summer (1988), and he directed 1983 comedy Class, starring Jacqueline Bisset alongside burgeoning Brat Packers Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy. It was the latter’s first screen role.

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