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The Goonies and Superman director Richard Donner dies aged 91

(David Cheskin/PA)
(David Cheskin/PA)

Hollywood director Richard Donner, whose credits include The Goonies and the original Superman film, has died aged 91.

Warner Bros confirmed the news to the PA news agency.

Born in the Bronx, New York, Donner began his career in television, with credits including anthology series The Twilight Zone and spy thriller The Man From Uncle.

After directing horror film The Omen in 1976, he found international acclaim for his work on Superman starring Christopher Reeve, often regarded as the first modern superhero film.

Superman
Christopher Reeve during filming of Superman IV at Elstree Studios (PA)

The Warner Bros blockbuster became the sixth-highest grossing film of all time after its theatrical run and won an Oscar for its visual effects.

Donner went on to direct movies such as The Goonies (1985) and Scrooged (1988) but it was his work on the Lethal Weapon series, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, that earned his biggest box office hits.

As a producer, he owned The Donners’ Company with his wife Lauren Shuler Donner which produced the Free Willy and X-Men franchises.

Corey Feldman, who starred in The Goonies as Clark “Mouth” Devereaux, was among those paying tribute.

He said on Twitter: “Richard Donner was an incredible human. He was there for me in times throughout my life when no other person would.

“Not only was he an incredible director and storyteller of such incredible films like The Goonies, Lethal Weapon, Superman, The Omen, Free Willy and my personal favourite Scrooged but his greatest achievement in my mind was his ability to be a real life superman by always doing what he could to help both humanity and through his love of animals (he) always used his voice for animals rights as well.”

Director Edgar Wright wrote: “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.

“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. RIP.”

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