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In the wake of Richard Donner’s death on Monday, a number of Hollywood figures took to social media to share tributes to the Lethal Weapon film director, who died at age 91.
Donner’s lengthy body of work included four Lethal Weapons films along with The Goonies, Superman with Christopher Reeve, Inside Moves, 16 Blocks and numerous others.
The Goonies star Sean Astin was among the first to remember the director, taking to Twitter to share a message. “Richard Donner had the biggest, boomiest voice you could imagine,” wrote the actor. “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.”
Fellow Goonies actor Corey Feldman shared a lengthy tribute, all in caps, in which he called Donner “the closest thing I ever had 2 a real father” and shared that the director was there for him “when no other person would.” Feldman wrote that Donner was “an incredible director & story teller,” listing a number of his films. “But his greatest achievement in my mind was his ability 2 b a real life #Superman by always doing whatever he could 2 help both humanity, & through his love of animals always used his voice 4 #animalrights as well.”
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk wrote in a statement: “PETA will remember Richard as a brilliant director and producer whose movies drew people to view animals as someone, not something. A pioneer, long before Blackfish opened eyes and hearts, Richard revealed the anguish of captive orcas with Free Willy—and, thanks to the impact of his film, Keiko the orca was rescued from marine park prison and spent many joyful years swimming free in Norway’s coastal waters. Richard holds a special place in PETA’s heart for his activism and kindness, and we will miss him.”
Edgar Wright wrote in a three-part tribute: “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.”
He continued, “One Donner film I saw young & return to often is The Omen. Because it’s oft imitated, it doesn’t get the credit for being a perfectly paced & performed horror movie. I think of it as the first 80’s movie in the 70’s. David Warner’s story in it is burned in my mind forever.”
Wright signed off with, “I only met Richard once and he was funny, charming and so full of stories (and happy to indulge my geeky questions). I’m sad I’ll never get to meet him again.”
Girl Interrupted director James Mangold wrote, “To my mind this word captures the first priority and goal of a film director, regardless of genre or style. And Dick Donner achieved it time and time again, in all sorts of films. It’s not easy. It takes artistry. RIP Richard Donner.”
Ben Stiller remembered the filmmaker as someone who “made big time movies.” The actor wrote, “Movies that remain in our consciousness. That never has been and never is easy. Always admired his work.”
In a message shared on Twitter via Amblin, Steven Spielberg wrote of Donner: “Dick had such a powerful command of his movies and was so gifted across so many genres,” Spielberg said in a statement. “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.”
“Hard to imagine another director with as much tonal breadth as Richard Donner, who nailed it every time no matter the genre,” wrote Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta on Twitter. “Who else could’ve made both THE GOONIES and THE OMEN? LETHAL WEAPON and SCROOGED? And a SUPERMAN for the ages. He made so many of my favorite movies. RIP.”
Read these tributes and more, below.
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 pic.twitter.com/7NDH9kKnQZ
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) July 5, 2021
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
IT IS WITH TREMENDOUS SADNESS & A HORRIBLY HEAVY HEART I MIST SHARE THE TRAGIC NEWS OF MY DEAR FRIEND, MENTOR, & THE CLOSEST THING I EVER HAD 2 A REAL FATHER, THE AMAZING RICHARD DONNER HAS PASSED AWAY 2DAY! I JUST SPOKE W LAUREN, & FOUND HE DIED @ HOME.. https://t.co/Q9QiRpy0v9
— Corey Feldman (@Corey_Feldman) July 5, 2021
To my mind this word captures the first priority and goal of a film director, regardless of genre or style. And Dick Donner achieved it time and time again, in all sorts of films. It's not easy. It takes artistry. RIP Richard Donner. https://t.co/I6SInbMKr7
— Mangold (@mang0ld) July 5, 2021
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) July 5, 2021
Steven Spielberg reflects on the passing of Richard Donner, friend, and beloved director of THE GOONIES for Amblin Entertainment, who passed away today at 91.#RichardDonner #TheGoonies pic.twitter.com/6KSmKvWqVI
— Amblin (@amblin) July 5, 2021
RIP Richard Donner. What a legend. Invented the modern super-hero movie, giving the storytelling weight and emotion. And helped reinvent the buddy cop genre, with Lethal Weapon. Never met the man, but he was by all accounts kind and thoughtful as well as incredibly talented. https://t.co/U594CLFRNv
— Jay Faerber (@JayFaerber) July 5, 2021
One of the nicest people in the entertainment industry and one of the most talented and influential directors of all time, Richard “Dick” Donner, has passed away. So eternally grateful to have had him in my life… Our condolences to Lauren and his family. 💔 pic.twitter.com/2PLHxB4nuV
— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) July 5, 2021
He made me believe a man could fly. pic.twitter.com/Zzm26iwFVX
— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) July 5, 2021
Richard Donner's filmography speaks for itself, a legacy of dreams, adventure, and making you believe a man could fly. For me, LADYHAWKE will always remain nearest to my heart. It captured my imagination from an early age and showed me the power of stories. Pure magic. pic.twitter.com/08JN08NVvO
— Michael Varrati (@MichaelVarrati) July 5, 2021
He also directed the fucking OMEN, a movie that astonishes me to this day.
GREAT career. https://t.co/ZPzaIhk7oB
— Billy Ray (@BillyRay5229) July 5, 2021
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
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
I am just waking up to the devastating news that Richard Donner has passed. There r few who flickered lights in a way that mesmerized my childhood dreams & defined this career path as the one I needed to choose. His time here may be over but as we all know “Goonies never say die” pic.twitter.com/4mstiGtgRH
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) July 5, 2021
Hard to imagine another director with as much tonal breadth as Richard Donner, who nailed it every time no matter the genre. Who else could’ve made both THE GOONIES and THE OMEN? LETHAL WEAPON and SCROOGED? And a SUPERMAN for the ages. He made so many of my favorite movies. RIP.
— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) July 5, 2021
In 1999, I got to ride on the Warner Brothers private jet from L.A. to Seattle with Richard Donner and two others. Over the course of lunch, he told us stories about shooting “Superman” and “Lethal Weapon”.
A towering talent.
— David Hayter (@DavidBHayter) July 5, 2021
Thank you, Richard Donner. You made me believe. pic.twitter.com/zmeONQpTUT
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) July 5, 2021
I am sorry to learn of his passing. He was a wonderful director. I don’t really have many memories of the shoot. It was chaotic; it was supposed to be a 4 day shoot & they cut it in half. They kept us there all night on the 2nd day to finish it. We were all sleep deprived.🥱😴 https://t.co/sk4QLxZEWu
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) July 6, 2021
Dick Donner : a Gentle man . Funny .. Great story teller .. Great husband .. great dinner conversationalist .. and that is just the tip of the iceberg .
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) July 5, 2021
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