28 Facts About Richard Donner


Richard Donner's career spanned over 50 years, crossing multiple genres and filmmaking trends.


Richard Donner began his career in 1957 as a television director.


Richard Donner made his film debut with the low-budget aviation drama X-15 in 1961, but had his critical and commercial breakthrough with the horror film The Omen in 1976.


Richard Donner directed the landmark superhero film Superman in 1978, which provided an inspiration for the fantasy film genre to eventually gain artistic respectability and commercial dominance.


Richard Donner later went on to direct films in the 1980s such as The Goonies and Scrooged, while reinvigorating the buddy cop film genre with the Lethal Weapon series.


Richard Donner produced the Tales from the Crypt television series and co-wrote several comic books for Superman publisher DC Comics.


Richard Donner Donald Schwartzberg was born in the Bronx, New York City, to Russian Jewish parents, Hattie and Fred Schwartzberg.


Richard Donner's father owned a small furniture-manufacturing business and his mother was a stay at home mother.


Richard Donner's grandfather owned a movie theatre in Brooklyn, which had an early influence on his perception of film.


Richard Donner briefly attended New York University but left to pursue a career in acting, relocating to Los Angeles and adopting the stage name "Richard Donner".


Richard Donner gained a bit part in a television program directed by Martin Ritt, who encouraged Donner to become a director instead.


Later, Richard Donner was on the staff of Desilu, where he directed commercials.


Richard Donner made the transition into television dramas in the late 1950s, directing some episodes of the Steve McQueen western serial Wanted Dead or Alive and the Chuck Connors western The Rifleman.


In 1978, Richard Donner directed Superman: The Movie, starring Christopher Reeve in the title role.


Richard Donner approached the film with the concept of creating verisimilitude, an intuitive feeling evoked in the audience that makes the fantasy story feel real within the story's context.


Richard Donner filmed most of Superman II with the expectation he would complete the sequel after the release of Superman.


Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut was released on November 28,2006, the same date as the DVD release of the summer film Superman Returns.


Richard Donner directed mixed commercial flops and successes.


Richard Donner directed six films starring Mel Gibson in total, creating a Lethal Weapon franchise with three sequels; the last of these was Lethal Weapon 4, released in 1998.


Richard Donner really loves what he's doing, loves working with actors, and he allows you freedom to explore all kinds of areas.


Richard Donner became the executive producer for the 2000 Marvel Comics film X-Men, then an executive producer for the 2009 X-Men prequel, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.


Richard Donner was the first choice to direct the "unofficial" James Bond film Never Say Never Again, but turned it down after he decided he disliked Lorenzo Semple Jr's script.


Richard Donner was considered as director for The Lost Boys, The Last Boy Scout, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Dave, Forever Young, and The Sandlot.


In 2001, Richard Donner claimed he planned to direct a sequel to The Goonies after Timeline, and he planned to direct the fifth and final Lethal Weapon film before his death in 2021.


Together, Johns and Richard Donner collaborated on the stories Last Son and Escape from Bizarro World, both of which have been released in collected book form.


Richard Donner married film producer Lauren Shuler on November 27,1985.


Richard Donner was a cousin of actor Steve Kahan, who played a policeman tracking Otis in Superman: The Movie, and played Captain Ed Murphy in the Lethal Weapon film franchise.


Richard Donner died on July 5,2021, at his West Hollywood, California home, at the age of 91.