Clancy Carlile (January 18, 1930 – June 4, 1998) was an American novelist and screenwriter of Cherokee descent. He is perhaps best known for his 1980 novel Honkytonk Man, made into a film by Clint Eastwood.
Carlile was born in the Choctaw Nation's tribal jurisdictional area in Oklahoma, and his father was Cherokee. He had an erratic childhood, and moved to Texas at a young age. Carlile was a high school drop-out. He worked as a cotton picker until his family moved to California to pick fruit. He served in the army during the Korean War and after being discharged, obtained a master's degree at San Francisco State University.
Carlile began writing, and penned his first novel, presumably As I Was Young and Easy (1958) in just 17 days. This was followed by Spore 7 (1979). In Honkytonk Man (1980), the tale of the life and death of a country singer which was made into a film by Clint Eastwood in which Eastwood also starred, Carlile wrote both the novel and the screenplay. His final novel, Children of the Dust (1995), about the settling of Oklahoma, was made into a CBS mini-series featuring Sidney Poitier. This novel is related to the author's heritage, being from the Oklahoma Territory. The story is set in the late 1880s, with Gypsy Smith (Poitier) being a gunslinger of African American and Cherokee descent who helps African American homesteaders settle the territory under the specter of white people. The novel, The Paris Pilgrims, regarding a mix of memoirs, biographies and fiction of famous American expatriates in 1920s Paris, was published posthumously in 1999.
Carlile spent much of his later life in Austin, Texas where he had a writing fellowship at the University of Texas. Carlile had at least one child, a son, Steven, and four grandchildren. He died in Austin from cancer at the age of 68 on June 4, 1998.