Three time Oscar winner Robert Benton never considered himself a Hollywood film writer before he co-wrote the 1967 movie “Bonnie and Clyde.” In fact, he never considered himself much of a writer at all. The Hollywood writer went on to write and direct other Oscar-winning films, such as “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “Places in the Heart,” despite suffering from severe dyslexia throughout his life.

Academics were never his strong suit, and Benton was regularly a C average student. Nobody knew about dyslexia during Benton’s childhood, so many teachers and peers just thought he was a slow learner who struggled with reading and writing. Despite these struggles/setbacks, Benton was determined to succeed and ended up continuing his education all the way through college, being the first in his family to do so. Benton knew that reading and writing were not his strong suit, but he didn’t focus on this, and instead focused himself on drawing and film narration-- things that interested him greatly. His father, aware of his son’s struggles in school, would regularly take a young Robert to the movies, and it was there that the future Oscar winner would learn the skills of narratives and storytelling -- not from books or novels.

Watch this interview with Robert Benton about how dyslexia affected his career.