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The legendary Donner died Monday at the age of 91. Following the news, fans and colleagues took to social media to share their sorrow but also their appreciation for his vast filmmaking talent.
The retired and largely-now private Hackman is known for several beloved (and Oscar-winning) roles, among the top being Lex Luthor in Superman (1978). Mourning the late director, Hackman recounted a funny anecdote to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I showed up for the first day of makeup tests for Superman with a fine Lex Luthor mustache I’d grown for the role,” he began. “Dick, wearing his own handsome mustache, told me mine had to go. He bargained to lose his if I did mine. True to his word, he celebrated my last razor stroke by gleefully pulling off the fake whiskers he’d acquired for the occasion.”
Concluded Hackman, “Dick made it fun, and that’s why the films turned out that way, too.”
Another entertaining tidbit from the Superman production came from Donner himself, who said in a making-of feature years ago that he was aghast when he learned how much Marlon Brando was being paid for his role as Superman’s father, Jor-El ($3.7 million and 11.75 percent of the picture’s backend for 13 days of work).
“When I first came on the picture and I heard how much Marlon Brando was paid for it, I was really upset, because it seemed like much more money than anyone is worth,” Donner said then. However, he later admitted, “But then working with him and seeing him on film, to me, he is underpaid.”
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