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Richard Donner - Director Of The Goonies, Superman, And More - Has Died

Richard Donner, the visionary director who made moviegoing in the '70s, '80s, and '90s a delightful experience for audiences everywhere, has died at age 91. Deadline was among the first news outlets to report on Donner's death and stated that the director died on Monday, July 5. As of early Monday evening, no official cause of death for Donner has been reported. Deadline noted the late director's wife of 35 years, producer Lauren Schuler Donner, and his business manager confirmed his passing earlier in the day.

For the majority of his life, the Bronx-born Donner carved out an impressive career in movies and on television as a director, a producer on big hits like 1987's "The Lost Boys" and 2000's "X-Men," and as an occasional actor. He made episodes of television and features films that can be classified in a variety of genres, including action, comedy, fantasy, and horror. He worked with marquee stars like Christopher Reeve, Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Bill Murray, and Sylvester Stallone.

Donner's incredible contributions to entertainment only make his loss more acutely felt — something best encapsulated by director Steven Spielberg's tweet remembering the director, which he posted in the hours after his passing: "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."

Donner's work in movies and TV delighted us for nearly 50 years

With nearly 50 years logged as a prolific movie and television director, Richard Donner has left us an incredibly impressive and influential body of work and most likely helmed something you're a fan of to this day. His career began when TV was still a nascent medium, directing episodes of "Gilligan's Island," "The Twilight Zone," "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," "Perry Mason," and "The Wild Wild West" in the early to mid-1960s. From TV episodes, Donner graduated to directing TV movies including 1973's "Nightside" starring John Cassavetes. By 1976, Donner had eked out a stable and prolific career as a TV director, and his breakout feature film "The Omen" was released that year. From then on, he largely stuck to directing movies for the rest of his career.

While "The Omen" helped establish Donner as a director worth watching, it was his subsequent features that made him a director worth celebrating and remembering. Arguably, Donner's work on 1978's "Superman" helped make it one of the first major comic book movies of the modern era, one that has gone on to lay the foundations for the comic book movie category today. He is also the director behind features like "The Goonies," "Lethal Weapon" (not to mention all three "Lethal Weapon" sequels), "Scrooged," "Ladyhawke," and "Timeline" — movies which were all epic in scope in their own ways and left audiences thrilled, chilled, and everything in between. Saying goodbye to Donner will be hard for his fans to do, but there is comfort in knowing he left us plenty of movies and TV shows to return to and remember him by.