The ‘Goonies’ filmmaker passed away on Monday (05.07.21) at the age of 91, his wife, producer Lauren Schuler Donner, and his business manager have confirmed.
No cause of death has yet been given.
The director and producer began his career in television, working on shows including ‘The Twilight Zone’, ‘Perry Mason’ and ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’, before making the move to the big screen in 1961 with the low-budget ‘X-15’.
His major movie breakthrough came with 1976’s iconic horror ‘The Omen’.
Richard’s other significant work included ‘Superman’ – which featured the late Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel – in 1978 and the ‘Lethal Weapon’ franchise.
He was also a celebrated producer, working on the likes of the ‘Free Willy’ trilogy, ‘X-Men’ and ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’.
Last December, Richard confirmed he was to reteam with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover on a fifth ‘Lethal Weapon’ movie.
He said at the time: “This is the final one.
“It’s both my privilege and duty to put it to bed. It’s exciting, actually… Hahaha! It’s the last one, I’ll promise you that.”
Director Edgar Wright has paid tribute to the filmmaker and his body of work.
He tweeted: “Richard Donner’s big heart & effervescent charm shone in his movies through the remarkable performances of his cast, which is no mean feat. You remember all the characters in Superman, Lethal Weapon, The Goonies & more, because Donner knew how to capture that magic onscreen.
“One Donner film I saw young & return to often is The Omen. Because it’s oft imitated, it doesn’t get the credit for being a perfectly paced & performed horror movie. I think of it as the first 80’s movie in the 70’s. David Warner’s story in it is burned in my mind forever.
“I only met Richard once and he was funny, charming and so full of stories (and happy to indulge my geeky questions). I’m sad I’ll never get to meet him again. RIP. (sic)”
Kevin Smith also praised Richard for his lasting impact on the movie industry.
He wrote: “Richard Donner made the devil a child in ‘The Omen’, invented the modern day comic book movie with ‘Superman’, and reinvented the buddy cop movie with ‘Lethal Weapon’. I got to meet with him last year about a project. Guy was a natural born storyteller. Thanks for all the flicks, Dick!”