RICHARD DONNER (Director/Producer) is the
creative force behind some of the most popular movies of the last 20 years:
"The Omen," "Superman: The Movie." "Free Willy,"
the "Lethal Weapon" series and "Maverick."
His career began in front of the camera as an actor in Martin
Ritt's television production of W. Somerset Maugham's "Of Human
Bondage." Donner continued assisting Ritt and many other great live
After moving to Los Angeles, he won the assignment of
directing his friend Steve McQueen for the television series "Wanted: Dead
or Alive." In 1961, he directed Charles Bronson in "X-15," a
melodrama about Air Force test pilots. He continued directing such television
series as "The Twilight Zone," "The Fugitive," "The Man
From U.N.C.L.E." and "Kojak."
During the 1970s, Donner directed several acclaimed
movies-of-the-week, and in 1975 directed his first successful major feature,
"The Omen," which was released the following year to record-setting
business. He next took on the task of transferring the adventures of the most
popular pulp hero in five decades to film. Under his direction, "Superman: The Movie" became one of
the all-time biggest international hits.
Four films followed the success of "Superman":
"Inside Moves," "The Toy" starring Jackie Gleason and
Richard Pryor. "The Goonies," produced with Steven Spielberg, and
"Ladyhawke," by far his favorite for many reasons, most importantly
because he fell in love with producer Lauren Shuler, who later became his wife.
In "Lethal Weapon," Donner introduced two cops who would become the
cinema's most popular crime-fighting duo, played by Danny Glover and Mel
Gibson. "Lethal Weapon 2" proved even more successful, and the two
stars teamed up for "Lethal Weapon 3," released in May of 1992, which
went on to become one of the highest-grossing pictures of all time, earning over
Donner also produced and directed "Scrooged,"
starring Bill Murray and the affecting "Radio Flyer," and he
executive-produced the thriller "Lost Boys," directed by Joel
Schumacher. He served as executive producer on the HBO television series
"Tales From the Crypt," for which he directed the pilot, and the
Saturday morning cartoon of the same name.
Donner executive-produced the hit family movies "Free
Willy," "Free Willy 2" and "Free Willy 3." He directed
and produced "Maverick," starring Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and James
Garner, "Assassins,' starring Antonio Banderas and Sylvester Stallone, and "Conspiracy Theory,"
starring Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts.
"Lethal Weapon 4," with all the favorites Mel
Gibson, Danny Glover, Rene Russo and Joe Pesci — was
released in July of 1998, this time introducing Chris Rock and Jet Li. The
"Lethal Weapon" quartet has grossed nearly one billion dollars.
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