William Broyles, Jr.
Notes from Evan Smith
"Every once in a while the guest on this show is an old friend -- of mine and yours -- so the conversation really does seem like eavesdropping.
If you read TEXAS MONTHLY, as they say, back in the day, then the smiling face and reassuring voice of the magazine's founding editor, William Broyles, will be familiar to you, and the next half-hour should be a treat. But don't expect a conversation about journalism -- not entirely, anyway -- because the 60-year-old has led many lives, all of them interesting, and his most recent incarnation, as an A-list Hollywood screenwriter, may be the most interesting of all.
Born and raised in Baytown, a graduate of Rice University and a prestigious Marshall Scholar at Oxford, Broyles famously served his country as a commander of a Marine platoon in Vietnam. He signed on as TEXAS MONTHLY's founding editor in 1972, a year before the first issue was published, and held that post until the late seventies, when he was dispatched to California to run New West magazine. In 1981, he was named editor in chief of Newsweek, but lasted only two years, at which point he started writing full-time.
A book about his wartime experiences, Brothers in Arms, and a TV show he co-created, China Beach, were his most immediate and noteworthy projects, but it's really his screenplay work in the last fifteen years that have brought him fame and acclaim: Apollo 13, for which he received an Academy Award nomination; Cast Away, the remake of Planet of the Apes, The Polar Express, and now, coming soon to a theater near you, the big-screen adaptation of Jarhead, starring Texas' latest Academy Award winner, Jamie Foxx. Plus, inevitably, any number of new projects starring his friend and frequent collaborator, Tom Hanks. If this is what it means to be a former TEXAS MONTHLY editor, well, okay. " - Evan Smith, Texas Monthly Talks, Broadcast 7.7.05