Entertainment People ‘Greatest Goonie of all’: Stars mourn Hollywood legend
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‘Greatest Goonie of all’: Stars mourn Hollywood legend

richard donner die
Donner with actor Margot Kidder at a Superman II screening in Hollywood in 2006. Photo: Getty
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Hollywood director Richard Donner had died in Los Angeles at the age of 91, with stars including Mel Gibson and Steven Spielberg among those paying tribute.

Donner, whose credits included Lethal Weapon, The Goonies and the original Superman film, died on Monday (US time).

Oscar winner Gibson found fame starring in the Donner-directed Lethal Weapon series alongside Danny Glover.

He described Donner as “my friend, my mentor”.

“Oh, the things I learned from him,” Gibson said.

“He undercut his own talent and greatness with a huge chunk of humility referring to himself as ‘merely a traffic cop’.

“He left his ego at the door and required that of others. He 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. I will sorely miss him, with all his mischievous wit and wisdom.”

Spielberg, a close friend, who worked alongside Donner on The Goonies, hailed the director as “the greatest Goonie of all”.

“Dick had such a powerful command of his movies, and was so gifted across so many genres,” he said in a statement.

“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.”

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.

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 buddy cop Lethal Weapon series, starring Gibson and Glover, that earned his biggest box office hits.

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

In a statement, Warner Bros described Donner as “a pioneer of the modern superhero, horror and action film genre. His films were some of the most popular of their time and many have become modern classics”.

-AAP