Gregory Allen Howard, the award-winning screenwriter for Remembering the Titans, has died in Miami, Florida after a brief illness. He was 70 years old. Howard’s publicist confirmed the news, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and the actor died Friday.
Howard is best known for his screenplay for the 2000 sports classic Remember the Titans, starring Denzel Washington and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Based on a true story, the film follows new African-American football coach Herman Boone’s first season coaching a high school team that is a racially integrated group.
Howard began his writing career at age 48, with his first project being the Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet, which was originally assigned to him at Disney, Variety reported. However, the film didn’t materialize until 2015, when Howard co-wrote the script with producers Debra Martin Chase and Daniela Taplin-Lundberg and Cassie Lemons . Harriet is out in 2019, starring Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monae and Joe Alwyn.
At the red carpet premiere of “Harriet,” Howard told The Hollywood Reporter, “What I’m most looking forward to is change in the industry. There needs to be #OscarsSoWhite and #OscarsSoWhite” [more] Diversity in Hollywood. All of this has to happen because anyone who greenlights this movie is risking their jobs and/or careers. “
In addition to Remembering the Titans and Harriet, the writer has worked on several other notable projects, namely Ali, The Harlem Renaissance, The Mist, and This Little Lamp. Howard has received many accolades throughout his career. According to Variety, he is a two-time recipient of the NAACP Image Award, the prestigious Christopher Award and the Howard University Paul Robertson Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Howard earned story credit for Michael Mann’s “Ali,” the 2001 biopic of sports legend Muhammad Ali. The two-Oscar-nominated film stars Will Smith, Jamie Foxx and Jon Voight, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Howard has a number of projects in development, including “Magic,” a biopic about quarterback Marin “Magic” Briscoe.
According to Variety, Howard is survived by his sister Lynette Henley, brother Michael Henley, nieces Robyn Bacon and Valencia Kamara, nephew Robert Henley, a grandniece, two grandnephews and cousins Pierre Gatling and Patricia Cole.