‘Superman’, ‘Lethal Weapon’, and ‘The Goonies’ director Richard Donner has died at 91

Richard Donner
Hollywood director and producer Richard Donner.

  • Hollywood director and producer Richard Donner has died at the age of 91.
  • Donner’s death was confirmed to Deadline by his wife and business manager Lauren Schuler Donner.
  • Donner is best known for the “Lethal Weapon” series, and the original “Superman” film featuring Christopher Reeve.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Richard Donner, a well-known Hollywood director and producer behind several 1970s and ’80s blockbusters, died on Monday at the age of 91.

Donner’s death was confirmed to Deadline by his wife and business manager Lauren Schuler Donner. No cause of death has been revealed.

Born Richard Donald Schwartzberg, the Bronx-native made his feature film directorial debut with the little-known 1968 Sammy Davis Jr. crime comedy “Salt & Pepper,” with his first big break coming in the form of 1976’s “The Omen,” starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick.

But he is best known for helming the “Lethal Weapon” series starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, and the original “Superman” film featuring Christopher Reeve.

Donner was infamously cut from the Superman sequel after a litigious dispute with the films’ producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind, and replaced by Richard Lester mid-production. More than 25 years later, his re-edited version was released on DVD in 2006 as “Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut” with lost Man of Steel footage.

Prior to films, he spent his career in television, including shows such as “Route 66,” “The Twilight Zone,” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” to name a few.

Tributes began pouring in as news of Donner’s death spread, with writer-director Kevin Smith calling Donner “a natural-born storyteller.”

“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.'” Smith tweeted.

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