‘On Golden Pond’ Screenwriter Wins PSU’s Distinguished Communicator Award

October 24th, 2007 by Adam

The man who brought the beauty of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region into the hearts of millions through an Oscar-winning screenplay has been awarded the first
Distinguished Communicator Award from PSU’s Department of Communication and Media Studies.

Actor/director/writer Ernest Thompson, best known for winning an Oscar for his screenplay “On Golden Pond,” received the 2007 Distinguished Communicator Award from the Plymouth State University Department of Communication and Media Studies at a ceremony October 18.

At a special celebration of excellence in Heritage Commons, Thompson was welcomed by President Sara Jayne Steen and presented with the Distinguished Communicator Award by PSU Communications department chair Kylo-Patrick Hart.

“This award formally recognizes Ernest Thompson’s impressive creative and professional accomplishments over the past four decades, from his early television acting roles on the NBC programs “Sierra” and “Somerset” to his current film project “The Love Line,” said Hart.

Thompson shared noteworthy reflections on his career opportunities and challenges to date. He offered words of advice and encouragement to the undergraduate students in the room — encouraging them to, “always pursue their dreams, no matter what they may be told by naysayers” — and answered questions from his audience members.

The Distinguished Communicator Award was created to honor outstanding individuals with personal and/or professional ties to New England who have made impressive and meaningful contributions in one or more of the following areas of creative and professional activity: advertising, communication technology, film, marketing, media writing, public relations, radio, or television. The recipient of this award is selected from a pool of accomplished nominees who have all made very substantial contributions in these areas.

Born in Vermont and currently living in New Hampshire, Thompson is an accomplished actor (Next Stop Wonderland, Sierra, Somerset, The Valentine Fairy, Zipless), director (1969, Another Summer, Out of Time, The Penis Responds), playwright (Amazons in August, Murdering Mother, The Telephone Lothario, The West Side Waltz), and screenwriter (1969, On Golden Pond, Sweet Hearts Dance, Take Me Home Again). He won Best Screenplay awards from the Motion Picture Academy of America, Golden Globes, and Writers Guild of America for On Golden Pond, the 1981 family drama starring Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, and has since directed both televised and musical versions of that work. Thompson’s current major project is the film The Love Line.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu