So your Australian-American pool boy/chauffeur wants to show you his screenplay. His first screenplay. But these are groovy times -- the tail end of the 60s -- and the kid is a Stanford dropout who hitchhiked to NYC, failed to become an actor, joined the army like his dad, wrote for Stars & Stripes in Germany, hung out in Paris for six months, went back to Stanford to finish his B.A., then got his M.F.A. in screenwriting from UCLA, so you say, Sure, okay, I'll read the damn script, how bad could it be? Well, it's crazy brilliant. You think. Maybe just crazy. So you show it to Robert Evans at Paramount and he agrees. Of course -- who couldn't see this coming -- the kid is dying to direct it himself. Give him seven grand for test shoot but... no chance. Forget it. Give the picture to Hal Ashby, get Ruth Gordon, and release it when? What's the right time of year for an old lady/suicidal nerd movie? Christmas! And... Total flop. Nonetheless, his debut Harold and Maude, allowed Colin Higgins to write the smash Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Jill Clayburgh 1976 superhit Silver Streak, which enabled him to direct his next screenplay, the Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase 1978 success Foul Play, which he followed with the Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton 1980 megahit 9 to 5. Colin followed that with the Burt Reynolds, Dolly Parton 1982 spectacle The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Gay, childless, and drowning in money, in 1986 he established the Colin Higgins Foundation for humanitarian concerns. He directed the tv miniseries based on Shirley MacLaine's Out on a Limb and in 1988 he died of aids. This year's recipients of Colin Higgins Foundation Youth Courage Awards include 17 year-old Oklahoma queer activist Tempest Cartwright, and 11 year-old Jazz, born a boy, insisting since age 2 she is a girl, who is credited with starting the Transkids Movement. Harold and Maude and 9 to 5 are ranked #45 and #74 on AFI's list of the 100 funniest films of all time.