ComingSoon is saddened to report that prolific director and producer Richard Donner has passed away at the age of 91. The filmmaker reportedly died Monday according to his wife, producer Lauren Schuler Donner, and his business manager. The cause of death has not yet been released.
Donner began his career in television — following his time spent helming commercials — directing episodes from a long list of small-screen projects including The Loretta Young Show, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Rifleman, The Twilight Zone, Sam Benedict, Mr. Novak, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Gilligan’s Island, Perry Mason, Get Smart, The Wild Wild West, and more.
Donner’s feature directorial debut was the 1968 crime comedy Salt and Pepper, starring Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Michael Bates, and Ilona Rodgers. In 1976, the filmmaker took on the classic horror movie The Omen, and then went on to helm the Christopher Reeve-led Superman feature in 1978 that earned over $300 million at the worldwide box office.
Donner continued to direct a number of blockbuster and fan-favorite movies during his career, including The Toy, Ladyhawke, The Goonies, the Lethal Weapon franchise, Scrooged, Radio Flyer, Maverick, Conspiracy Theory, and more. Donner’s last two movies as a director included 2003’s Timeline, starring the late Paul Walker, and the action thriller 16 Blocks, starring Bruce Willis.
Additionally, Donner and his wife produced many films under their The Donners’ Company production banner, including Free Willy, the X-Men film series, Assassins, Any Given Sunday, and much more, as well as the TV series Tales from the Crypt.
ComingSoon sends condolences to Donner’s friends and family during this difficult time.