Robert Towne

American screenwriter, producer, director and actor

Robert Towne (born Robert Bertram Schwartz,[1][2] November 23, 1934) is an American screenwriter, producer, director and actor.

Robert Towne
Towne in 2009
Robert Bertram Schwartz

(1934-11-23) November 23, 1934 (age 89)
Occupation(s)Writer, director, producer, actor
Years active1960–present
Spouse(s)Julie Payne
(m. 1977; div. 1982?)
Luisa Gaule
(m. 1984)

Towne was part of the New Hollywood wave of filmmaking. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning original screenplay for Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974). Towne also wrote the sequel, The Two Jakes (1990).

Towne is also known for his screenplays for The Last Detail (1973) and Shampoo (1975); and the first two Mission: Impossible movies.

Towne directed the sports dramas Personal Best (1982) and Without Limits (1998), the crime thriller Tequila Sunrise (1988), and the romantic crime drama Ask the Dust (2006).


  1. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind page 30, 1999 Bloomsbury edition ISBN 978-0-7475-4421-0
  2. According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Searchable at Archived 2011-04-27 at the Wayback Machine

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