Dennis Shryack (August 25, 1936 – September 14, 2016) was an American screenwriter whose credits included The Gauntlet in 1977, Code of Silence (1985), starring Chuck Norris, and Turner & Hooch (1989), which stars Tom Hanks and Beasley the Dog. Shryack also co-wrote the screenplay for Pale Rider in 1985, directed by Clint Eastwood, which became the highest grossing Western film of the 1980s, taking in the $41 million (the equivalent of nearly $92 million in 2016). Shryack often collaborated on screenplays with other writers, including penning seven films with Michael Butler, as well as partnerships with Michael Blodgett on Turner & Hooch and Run in 1991.
Shryack, who was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, began his career as a singer in The Escorts quartet, which toured as an opening act for well-known artists such as Sammy Davis Jr. and Sophie Tucker. Following his time with the The Escorts, Shryack was hired as a mailroom worker at Universal Pictures.
Shryack's first produced screenplay was for the 1969 Western comedy film, The Good Guys and the Bad Guys, which he co-wrote and co-produced with Ronald M. Cohen. His second film, the 1977 thriller The Car, starred James Brolin and Kathleen Lloyd.
Shryack co-wrote a series of films starring Chuck Norris, beginning with Code of Silence in 1985. In addition to his work with Clint Eastwood on The Gauntlet, he also co-wrote 1986's Pale Rider, in which Eastwood both directed and starred in, which became the highest grossing Western film of the 1980s with total box office receipts of $41 million.
Some of Shryack's other credits included Flashpoint (1984), which starred Kris Kristofferson, Treat Williams and Rip Torn; 1987's Rent-a-Cop with Michael Blodgett, starring Burt Reynolds and Liza Minnelli; and Cadence (1990), which starred Charlie Sheen and was directed by Martin Sheen.
Shryack successfully negotiated for $1 million for the script he co-wrote for Turner & Hooch (1989), which was the highest price ever paid for a screenplay by Touchstone Pictures at the time.
He later became a literary agent and returned to his hometown of Duluth.
Dennis Shryack died from congestive heart failure in Duluth, Minnesota, on September 14, 2016, at the age of 80. He was survived by his wife, Kathy, and children, daughter, Jennifer, and son, Chris.