Richard Donner, who made his name in Hollywood directing Superman (1978), The Goonies (1985), and the Lethal Weapon film series, passed away today at the age of 91.
Donner’s legacy as a director, as well as a producer of films such as The Lost Boys, Free Willy series, X-Men, and Any Given Sunday, is undisputed, and fans and former colleagues alike are letting the world know how much they appreciated him. Sean Astin, who played a leading role as Mikey in The Goonies, tweeted fond memories of working with Donner in the 1980s.
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
Steven Spielberg, who wrote and produced The Goonies, echoed Astin’s sentiments and gave his own thoughts on Donner’s personality in a statement via his production company, Amblin Entertainment.
“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.”
Kevin Smith, an accomplished director in his own right, tweeted and acknowledged the the impact Donner has had and will continue to have in the film industry with Superman and Lethal Weapon.
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. I got to meet with him last year about a project. Guy was a natural born storyteller. Thanks for all the flicks, Dick! https://t.co/pjC9dbSkbt
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) July 5, 2021
Dan Slott, a famous comic book writer, also praised Donner’s ingenuity in directing Superman.
Richard Donner's SUPERMAN is the DNA, the fundamental building block, that all good super hero movies have been built from. It was the earnest leap of faith, the single bound, that made us all believe that a man could fly. https://t.co/I3hEJU9s2c pic.twitter.com/ev7Yb3lSHJ
— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) July 5, 2021
Finally, Mel Gibson has paid tribute to his colleague as well, telling Deadline the following:
“Donner! My friend, my mentor. Oh, the things I learned from him! He undercut his own talent and greatness with a huge chunk of humility referring to himself as ‘merely a traffic cop.’ He left his ego at the door and required that of others. He 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.”
Richard Donner was 91. No cause of death has been revealed.