A playwright and screenwriter, Foote wrote screenplays for the 1962 film, To Kill a Mockingbird, and the 1983 film, Tender Mercies. He also wrote notable live television dramas during the Golden Age of Television.
Foote received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1995 for his play, The Young Man From Atlanta. In 2000, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Foote made an effort to employ life-like language in his writing, citing W. B. Yeats’ work as an example of this realistic approach.
In an interview with playwright Stuart Spencer, Foote discussed his writing and material:
“I think there’s certain things you don’t choose. I don’t think that you can choose a style. I think a style chooses you. I think that’s almost an unconscious choice. And I don’t know that you can choose subject matter, really. I think that’s almost an unconscious choice. I have a theory that from the time you’re 12 years old all your themes are kind of locked in.”