Richard Donner, a compassionate high-profile Hollywood director and producer known for his films such as the ‘Lethal Weapon’ franchise and ‘Superman’ has died at 91.
Born Richard Donald Schwartzberg in the Bronx, Donner moved to Los Angles in the 1950s with dreams of being an actor.
He was mentored by director Martin Ritt, who helped Donner develop his talents behind the camera instead of in front of the camera.
After working as Ritt’s assistant, Donner moved up to directing TV commercials and the episodics.
Donner’s production company confirmed news of his death to Variety, though the cause was not disclosed. His big feature break came with 1976 “The Omen” starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick.
He also executive produced the huge 2000 blockbuster “X-Men” and later the prequel “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
Donner also worked with for the animation company Hanna-Barbera, directing several episodes of “Danger Island,” part of children’s series “The Bananas Splits,” where his hand-held camerawork stood out.
Donner directed the cult classic “The Goonies” in 1985. The comedy tells the story of a group of children hunting for a hidden treasure.
He is survived by Shuler Donner, whom he married in 1986.
I will always fondly remember that booming raspy voice and laugh. My childhood and life was so impacted by the incredible Richard Donner. Heart of a giant and spirit of a child. His impact on cinema is truly immense; deftly bouncing from genre to genre. Love you, Dick. pic.twitter.com/nb6mMbpfVd
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) July 6, 2021