It is Cult Faction’s sad duty to report that Richard Donner has passed away at the age of 91 years old. The sad news was broken by his wife, the film producer Lauren Shuler Donner.
Donner’s legendary directing career began in 1960 with directing jobs on shows such as Wanted: Dead or Alive, Route 66, The Tall Man, X-15, The Detectives, The Rifleman, Have Gun-WIll Travel, The Twilight Zone, Man From U.N.C.L.E., Gilligan’s Island, Perry Mason, Get Smart, The Fugitive, The Wild Wild West, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, Ironside, Cannon, and Kojak.
In 1976 Donner switched to the big screen with The Omen, and followed it up with Superman in 1978 and Superman II in 1980 (which was finally restored how he envisioned it in the “Richard Donner Cut” in 2006). He followed this up with such films as The Toy, Ladyhawke, The Goonies, Lethal Weapon, Scrooged, Lethal Weapon 2, Lethal Weapon 3, Maverick, Assassins, Conspiracy Theory, Lethal Weapon 4, Timeline, and 16 Blocks.
Steven Spielberg, who wrote the story for The Goonies, paid tribute to Donner, calling him “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.”