Terribly sad news to report today as filmmaker Richard Donner has passed away at the age of 91. For this writer, it comes as a harder blow than most because “Dick” Donner was one of my hero directors.
Donner passed away Monday, according to his wife, the producer Lauren Schuler Donner, and his business manager. No cause of death has been revealed.
Donner directed some of the best films of the 1970s and 80s, including the Christopher Reeve blockbuster Superman 1978, The Omen 1976, The Goonies 1985, all four Lethal Weapon films.
His career in Hollywood began in 1960 as he directed for television with such shows as Wanted: Dead or Alive 1960, Route 66 1961, The Rifleman 1962, Have Gun – Will Travel 1962, several episodes of The Twilight Zone 1963-64, Gilligan’s Island 1964, Perry Mason 1964, Kojak 1974, Tales from the Crypt 1989, and so many more.
In the film realm he made a name for himself with Superman, The Omen, The Goonies, Lethal Weapon films, Ladyhawke 1985, Scrooged 1988, Maverick 1994, Conspiracy Theory 1997, and his final film was 16 Blocks in 2006.
“Dick had such a powerful command of his movies, and was so gifted across so many genres,” Steven Spielberg said in a statement today on hearing of Donner’s death. “Being in his circle was akin to hanging out with your favorite coach, smartest professor, fiercest motivator, most endearing friend, staunchest ally, and — of course — the greatest Goonie of all. He was all kid. All heart. All the time. I can’t believe he’s gone, but his husky, hearty, laugh will stay with me always.”
Donner directed so many of my favorite films. This is a real blow to the filmmaking community. He was a true genius and will be missed greatly.
He is survived by his wife, Lauren Shuler Donner.
Horror Patch sends our sincerest condolences to Donner’s family and friends during this time of grief.