Writer Hal Dresner of 'Cool Hand Luke' fame dies at 85

March 18, 2023

The world of television and cinema lost a legend in the business this week. 

According to Deadline, Hal Dresner, known for many shows and films but especially for his role in writing "Cool Hand Luke," passed away at the age of 85 after a tough cancer battle.

His family reportedly confirmed his death, Deadline noted.

His IMDB paged reads, "Hal Dresner was born on June 4, 1937 in the USA. Hal was a writer and producer, known for The Harvey Korman Show (1977), The Eiger Sanction (1975) and CBS Summer Playhouse (1987). Hal died on March 17, 2023 in Medford, Oregon, USA."

A wonderful career

Dresner was able to work on a number of television shows and films during his career as a writer and producer.

Deadline noted, "Born in June 1937 in New York City, he graduated from the University of Florida and moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting."

From there, he worked on "The Harvey Korman Show," "The Eiger Sanction," "CBS Summer Playhouse," "MASH," and more.

Dresner is also credited with having written "The Man Who Wrote Dirty Books," described as a comic novel. He also wrote a number of teleplays, screenplays, and short stories.

Additional details

The outlet added that a family friend said Dresner mentored well-known comedians Garry Shandling and Richard Lewis.

Dresner is survived by his daughter, Amy Paloma Dresner, and his sister, Rea Dresner of Pennsylvania.

Clearly, Dresner left quite an impact on American television and film, having played a large role in bringing many iconic American titles to fame. He will undoubtedly be missed by the industry and by his friends and family.


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