Richard Donner, an esteemed Hollywood director and producer known for his films such as the “Lethal Weapon” franchise, “The Goonies” and the original “Superman” has passed away. He was 91 years old.
Fox News confirmed through its rep and production company that Donner passed away on Monday. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Born Richard Donald Schwartzberg in the Bronx, Donner attended junior college before landing at the famous NYU, where he majored in business and theater.
He was an actor in his early days but fell in love with the art of storytelling and moved behind the camera, cutting his chops on shows such as “Wanted: Dead or Alive”, “The Twilight Zone”, “The Man From UNCLE “and” The Fugitive. “
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He also worked for the animation company Hanna-Barbera, directing several episodes of “Danger Island,” which is part of the children’s series “The Banana Splits,” where his hand-held camera work stood out, according to Variety.
He became a major actor in Hollywood and showbiz in 1976 when his feature film, “The Omen”, starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, catapulted Donner into the upper echelon of filmmakers.
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Along with his wife, Lauren Shuler Donner, whom Donner married in 1986, the couple were often a production powerhouse and Donner would go on to make “Free Willy” and “The Lost Boys” among a host of other high profile titles that have attracted the best talent in the company.
The Donner executive produced the hugely successful “X-Men” in 2000 and also helmed the prequel “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”.
In 1982, Donner took his career to new heights with the period love story “LadyHawke”, which he followed up with “The Goonies” – produced in collaboration with Amblin Entertainment by Steven Spielberg.
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One of the many highlights of Donner’s illustrious career included the installation of the “Lethal Weapon” series in 1987, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, with the title grossing over $ 1 billion in the box. -office.
Donner is survived by Shuler Donner.
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