Vale: Richard Donner
Famed Hollywood director, who worked across film and television, has died.
Famed Hollywood director Richard Donner, who worked across film and television, has died, aged 91.
The cause of death has not been disclosed.
Donner helmed major films including the Lethal Weapon film series, The Goonies and Christopher Reeve’s first Superman, but he began in television on such series as Wanted: Dead or Alive, Perry Mason, Route 66, The Fugitive, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Get Smart, then The Six Million Dollar Man, Kojak, Petrocelli and The Streets of San Francisco.
He did some of his most memorable TV work for Rod Serling on The Twilight Zone, especially the 1963 episode Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, starring William Shatner. Horror was a favourite, with work on Tales From the Crypt for HBO.
Other TV credits included A Shadow in the Streets, Sarah T.: Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, Danger Island and even The Banana Splits.
He broke into feature films with The Omen in 1976 then brought Superman to the bigscreen in 1978 before leaving the film’s sequel in an eventually litigious dispute with the films’ producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind.
Other films included Inside Moves, The Toy, Omen III: The Final Conflict, The Lost Boys, Delirious, Demon Knight, Bordello of Blood, the Free Willy trilogy, Ladyhawke, The Goonies, the Lethal Weapon franchise, Maverick, Conspiracy Theory, Scrooged, Assassins.
He was also an executive producer of X-Men and the prequel, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Donner once tried his hand at acting, recalling Martin Ritt’s television production of Of Human Bondage.
“Marty told me I’d never make it as an actor because I couldn’t take direction, but he thought I could give it and offered me a job as his assistant,” he said.