William Richert is an American film director, film producer, screenwriter and actor. He is best known for his performance as Bob in the 1991 Gus van Sant film My Own Private Idaho.
At age 17, he hopped a bus to Hollywood. At the age of 19, he interviewed Richard Nixon's daughters Tricia and Julie, as part of a planned documentary titled Presidents' Daughters. He directed several other documentaries and the feature films Winter Kills, The American Success Company, A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, and The Man in the Iron Mask.
Reardon was originally distributed by 20th Century Fox, and has since been re-cut and re-issued independently as Aren't You Even Going To Kiss Me Goodbye?
Richert sued the Writers Guild of America over not being credited on the screenplay of the film The American President. Richert claimed Sorkin's screenplay was a thinly-veiled plagiarism of Richert's 1981 'The President Elopes', and that the television series The West Wing was derived from part of the same screenplay. After Guild arbitration, Aaron Sorkin was awarded full credit on American President.
Richert also sued the Directors Guild of America over its collection of overseas levies for American directors who are not members.