Monday, June 24, 2024

Lethal Weapon director dies age 91

Acclaimed Hollywood director, Richard Donner, who brought some of the world’s most loved movies of all time to the big screen, has died aged 91.

Mr Donner’s wife, Lauren Shuler Donner, confirmed the sad news today.

The famed director led some of the 1970s and ‘80s most iconic films, including 1978’s Superman starring Christopher Reeve, The Goonies and the Lethal Weapon film franchise, with Australia’s Mel Gibson.

Richard Donner and Lauren Shuler Donner attend the 30th annual Producers Guild Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California in 2019.

Prior to his big screen directing career, Mr Donner worked on more than 25 TV series’ including Gilligan’s Island, The Twilight Zone, and the much-loved 1960’s spy comedy, Get Smart series starring Don Adams, Barbara Feldon and Edward Platt.

His big break came with the release of the 1976 now-iconic horror film, The Omen.

Mr Donner and his producer wife – the pair married in 1986 – received stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008.

Today he is being remembered as a “caring” and “wonderful” person by many in his life.

The Goonies child star, actor Sean Astin, remembered him as having the “biggest voice you could imagine”, while Steven Spielberg described him as an “endearing friend”.

Mr Spielberg said the late director was gifted across many genres and had a powerful command of his movies.

“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,” Mr Spielberg said.

“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.”

Mel Gibson also shared a statement with Variety magazine, regarding the loss of his friend.

“Donner! My friend, my mentor. Oh, the things I learned from him! He undercut his own talent and greatness with a huge chunk of humility referring to himself as ‘merely a traffic cop.’ He left his ego at the door and required that of others,” Mr Gibson said.

“He was magnanimous of heart and soul, which he liberally gave to all who knew him. If we piled up all the good deeds he did, it would stretch to some uncharted place in the firmament. I will sorely miss him, with all his mischievous wit and wisdom.”

Mr Donner’s cause of death has not been revealed.

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