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Richard Donner: Superman and Goonies director dies aged 91

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image captionRichard Donner’s first major break came with 1976’s The Omen

Richard Donner, the Hollywood director whose films included Superman and The Goonies, has died aged 91.

He passed away on Monday, his wife, the film producer Lauren Shuler Donner, told Deadline.

His first major break came with 1976’s The Omen, and later produced Free Willy and The Lost Boys.

Steven Spielberg, who wrote the story on which The Goonies was based, told Variety that Donner was “gifted across so many genres”.

“Being in his circle was akin to hanging out with your favourite coach, smartest professor, fiercest motivator, most endearing friend, staunchest ally, and – of course – the greatest Goonie of all,” Mr Spielberg said.

“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.”

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionDonner, left, talks with Mel Gibson on set of Lethal Weapon

Born in the Bronx, New York, Donner started in television in the early 1960s, with credits including anthology series The Twilight Zone and spy thriller The Man From Uncle.

But it wasn’t until the mid-1970s that he made his mark on Hollywood. His work on 1978’s Superman starring Christopher Reeve is often regarded as the first modern superhero film.

Donner directed and produced The Goonies in 1985. The comedy tells the story of a group of children hunting for a hidden treasure, and has become a cult classic.

Many have taken to social media to pay tribute to Donner.

Richard Donner’s big heart & effervescent charm shone in his movies through the remarkable performances of his cast, which is no mean feat. You remember all the characters in Superman, Lethal Weapon, The Goonies & more, because Donner knew how to capture that magic onscreen. 1/3

— edgarwright (@edgarwright) July 5, 2021

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Richard Donner had the biggest, boomiest voice you could imagine.

He commanded attention and he laughed like no man has ever laughed before. Dick was so much fun. What I perceived in him, as a 12 year old kid, is that he cared. I love how much he cared.

– Goonies Never Say Die

— Sean Astin (@SeanAstin) July 5, 2021

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Actor Mel Gibson, who starred in Donner’s Lethal Weapon movies as well as Conspiracy Theory, told Variety that Donner was “magnanimous of heart and soul, which he liberally gave to all who knew him.”

“If we piled up all the good deeds he did, it would stretch to some uncharted place in the firmament. I will sorely miss him, with all his mischievous wit and wisdom,” he said.

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