Hal Dresner Dies: Writer For ‘Cool Hand Luke’ And ‘Zorro The Gay Blade’ Was 85

Hal Dresner, a veteran writer for film and television who is credited for the memorable line, “What we have here is a failure to communicate” in the film Cool Hand Luke, died Friday in Medford, Oregon of cancer. He was 85 and his death was confirmed by his family.

Dresner had a long career as a writer and producer, working on The Harvey Korman Show, The Eiger Sanction, CBS Summer Playhouse, MASH, and more.

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

He was also the author of The Man Who Wrote Dirty Books, a comic novel.

He was a mentor to Garry Shandling and Richard Lewis, according to a family friend.

Survivors include his daughter, Amy Paloma Dresner and his sister, Rea Dresner of Pennsylvania. No memorial has been planned.

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