Richard Donner, director of The Goonies, Lethal Weapon, and Superman, dies at 91
Richard Donner, the director behind hits such as The Goonies, Lethal Weapon, and Superman, has died. He was 91 years old.
Donner's production company confirmed the news of his passing to EW, however a cause of death was not given.
Although he was widely known for his beloved films, the Bronx-born director-producer actually got his start in television. Some of his credits include work on notable series such as Route 66, The Rifleman, The Twilight Zone, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Gilligan's Island, Perry Mason, and The Wild Wild West.
He started directing films in the 1960s, with X-15 (1961) and Salt and Pepper (1968), with his first major outing as director coming with the now-classic horror film The Omen in 1976.
Long before superhero films took over the industry and fans clamored for the Snyder Cut, Donner had a bit of experience with both. He directed the original Superman film, starring Christopher Reeve. The film would spawn a number of sequels, but a dispute among Superman II's producers eventually led to him being uncredited and leaving the film, although much of his work stayed in the finished product. Eventually, in 2006, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut was released.
Some of his most well known work came in the 1980s, with beloved adventure comedy The Goonies in 1985 with executive producer Steven Spielberg and 1987's wildly popular Lethal Weapon. The latter film spawned a successful franchise that ended with Lethal Weapon 4 in 1998. Donner directed each entry in the franchise.
Other notable directorial efforts include The Toy, Ladyhawke, Scrooged, Maverick, Conspiracy Theory, and more recently, Timeline (2003) and 16 Blocks (2006). In addition to his work as a director, he and wife Lauren Shuler Donner produced a number of films through their production company The Donners' Company, including Fox's X-Men franchise and the Free Willy series, among many others.
Donner is survived by his wife.