Richard Donner, the legendary director behind Superman, The Goonies, and more has passed away at the age of 91.
No cause of death has been revealed, but Richard Donner passed away Monday according to his wife, Lauren Shuler Donner, as well as his business manager. Donner had one of the most prolific careers in Hollywood history, directing some of the biggest films of the 1970s and 80s, like the 1978 version of Superman starring Christopher Reeve, who’d go down as the most well-known film version of the titular superhero. Born in 1930, Donner’s first film was X-15 in 1961, but he didn’t enter filmmaking full-time until the horror hit The Omen in 1976.
Donner is best known for helping revive the buddy cop genre with his 1987 hit Lethal Weapon, which ended up spawning three sequels over the next ten years. He also directed the beloved adventure comedy The Goonies, which would go on to inspire countless other genre pieces including the Netflix series Stranger Things. His last film was the action-thriller 16 Blocks in 2006, starring Bruce Willis and Mos Def.
Outside of his films, Donner had a monumental impact on the industry at large, as well as some of the best-known figures in it. Steven Spielberg, director of Jaws and Jurassic Park released a statement saying,
“Dick had such a powerful command of his movies, and was so gifted across so many genres. 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.”
Richard and Lauren Donner also formed the production house The Donner’s Company, going on to produce other monumental film hits like 1993’s Free Willy and 2000’s X-Men. Donner will easily go down as one of the most talented action directors of all time.