He was the filmmaker who brought us many of the most popular films of 1970s and 1980’s Richard Donner has sadly died aged 91.
Richard’s business manager and wife Lauren Schuler Donner, announced the sad news today though no reason was given for his death.
When it comes to filmography’s, his list of films he worked on is nothing but impressive. Many of those films you would consider iconic probably even cult or classics. One of his most famous will be the 1978 Superman starring Christopher Reeve which made him a star. This film is considered the landmark comic book superhero film, the blueprint for the modern superhero films.
Whilst Superman is considered his Hollywood breakout film, two years previous his directed the antichrist himself with The Omen. The film starred screen legend Gregory Peck along with Lee Remick, David Warner and it was Donner’s feature debut.
Before the jump into feature film Richard Donner made a name for himself in the 1960’s in Television. All kicked off with Wanted: Dead or Alive starring his friend Steve McQueen. He would work in other TV series, such as The Twilight Zone, The Fugitive, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
After Superman, it’s probably the 1980’s many will recognise his films especially the Lethal Weapon franchise. The buddy cop films starred Danny Glover and Mel Gibson whom thanks to these films became a global star. Gibson calling Donner “magnanimous of heart and soul, which he liberally gave to all who knew him”. Glover also commented “My heart is broken. Working with Dick Donner, Mel Gibson and the Lethal Weapon team was one of the proudest moments of my career. I will forever be grateful to him for that.”
The one standout film cinephiles will always remember especially those now in the 40’s is The Goonies. The 1985 family film is considered a true cult classic which he directed and produced with Steven Spielberg.
“Dick had such a powerful command of his movies, and was so gifted across so many genres,” said Spielberg. “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 other films included which he directed or produced (or both) included Ladyhawke, Scrooged, Maverick, Free Willy, X-Men and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. His last directed film was 16 Blocks starring Bruce Willis, however The Goonies 2 sequel was meant the last film in 2020.
Rest in Peace Mr.Donner thank you for the memories.
Source quotes: Deadline