By Sandie Newton, CBS 11

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – He is one of America’s finest playwrights and a native Texan.  Horton Foote was born on March 14th 1916.  Sadly he passed two years ago but today at the Winspear Opera House seventeen arts organizations in North Texas announced the first ever Horton Foote Festival.

For the next six weeks local communities will be displaying and producing all things Foote – from exhibits at SMU’s DeGoyler Museum to Contemporary Theater of Dallas’ A TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL to Fort Worth’s Stage West  and even Booker T Washington High School of the Visual and Performing Arts production of some beloved one act plays – the entire metroplex is honoring the Pulitzer and Oscar winning playwright.

Foote is perhaps best known for the 1962 film TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.  But TENDER MERCIES in the 80’s and the 50’s A TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL are also award winning contributions to American theater and film.  In 1995 DIVIDING THE ESTATE was produced in New York City with his daughter, actress Hallie Foote performing.  Our Dallas Theater Center has produced an excellent version which is currently currently on stage at the Wyly Theater.

For a modest man born in Wharton Texas who took his Lone Star roots all around the world in dozens of wonderful productions for 70 years…tonight is an honor long overdue.