Hampton Fancher was born in East Los Angeles in 1938, and moved in his teens to Spain to become an accomplished flamenco dancer (briefly changing his name to Mario Montejo in the process). He returned to L.A. in the early ’60s and entered into a career as an actor in TV westerns such as Maverick and Have Gun, Will Travel. Fancher eventually gave up acting to pursue a career in screenwriting, and he is perhaps best known as the screenwriter for Ridley Scott’s seminal 1982 film Blade Runner. He also wrote the scripts for a number of other films, including The Other Side of the Mountain (1975) and The Minus Man (1999), which he also directed. Based in Brooklyn, he recently finished writing the Blade Runner sequel.
To open the Esopus 22: Medicine event at the exhibition and performance space The Kitchen on May 26, 2015, actor, director and screenwriter Hampton Fancher performed this dramatic reading of a 1942 letter written by William Carlos Williams (included in the issue as a removable facsimile insert) to a young medical student, in which the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet details his reasons for choosing to practice both medicine and poetry.