Richard Donner, the Hollywood director behind The Goonies, Superman and The Omen, has died.
The 91-year-old passed away on Monday, according to his wife Lauren Schuler Donner.
Warner Bros. confirmed his death but did not give a cause.
The studio said: “Rest in peace to legendary director Richard Donner.
“Thank you for helping us all believe a man can fly.”
His big break came with 1976’s The Omen and he later worked on classics such as Lethal Weapon, Free Willy and The Lost Boys.
Tributes have been flooding from across Hollywood for the talented director and producer.
REST IN PEACE, RICHARD DONNER, MASTER OF GENRES pic.twitter.com/lT2jiYaAjz
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) July 6, 2021
Zack Snyder, director of Army of the Dead and Justice League, said: “Thank you, Richard Donner. You made me believe.”
Steven Spielberg, who worked with Donner on The Goonies, described him as “gifted across so many genres”.
He said: “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.
“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.”
Jurassic Park child star Joe Mazzello said: “Dick Donner was a titan among men.
“Larger than life in heart, spirit, humour, compassion, vision, and physique.
“For better or for worse, he is the reason I love making movies and won’t ever be able to stop.
“My heart goes out to Lauren and his family. I love you Dick.”
For this last shot of The Omen, Richard Donner told his child actor to look back at the camera like he was angry, and when he did, Donner started joking “Don’t you smile! Don’t you smile!”
— N O S ⋊ Ɔ I ᴚ ᴚ Ǝ ᗡ ⊥ ⊥ O Ɔ S (@scottderrickson) July 5, 2021
Horror director Scott Derrickson, the force behind Sinister and Doctor Strange, praised Donner for his work on The Omen.
He said: “For this last shot of The Omen, Richard Donner told his child actor to look back at the camera like he was angry, and when he did, Donner started joking “Don’t you smile! Don’t you smile!”
“And that’s how we got one of the great evil smiles in cinema history.”
Actor Elijah Wood said: “I will always fondly remember that booming raspy voice and laugh.
“My childhood and life was so impacted by the incredible Richard Donner.
“Heart of a giant and spirit of a child. His impact on cinema is truly immense; deftly bouncing from genre to genre. Love you, Dick.”
While Mark Hamill said: “I couldn’t agree more with the tributes pouring in honouring the great Richard Donner.
“I was so lucky to have worked with him in his final movie for television alongside Linda Blair.
“His next project was The Omen – the rest is history!”
Look how the cast of Superman loved Richard Donner. pic.twitter.com/1kkD5ybMTU
— Jay Towers (@JayTowers) July 5, 2021
Antonio Banderas said: “Goodbye dear Richard.
“Thanks for your films, for your elegance, your sense of humour, your friendship and for those happy and funny days we spent during the shooting of “Assassins”.
“We will never forget you, amigo.”
Actor Mel Gibson, who starred in the Lethal Weapon movies, said 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.”
He added: “I will sorely miss him, with all his mischievous wit and wisdom.”
Rest in peace, Richard Donner.
Image by Alamy/Warner Bros.