Richard Donner

Director, Producer, Actor
A former off-Broadway actor who began directing commercials and industrial films in the late 1950s, Richard Donner went on to become one of the top-grossing directors in the 1970s and 1980s before tapering off later in ... Read more »
Born: 04/23/1930 in Bronx, New York, USA

Filmography

Producer (113)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2009 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Timeline 2003 (Movie)

(Producer)

Matthew Blackheart: Monster Smasher 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

X-Men 2000 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Any Given Sunday 1999 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Lethal Weapon 4 1998 (Movie)

(Producer)

Perversions of Science 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Conspiracy Theory 1997 (Movie)

(Producer)

Free Willy 3: The Rescue 1997 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Secrets of the Cryptkeeper's Haunted House 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

A Fatal Caper 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

A Slight Case of Murder 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

About Face 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Bordello of Blood 1996 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Cold War 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Ear Today... Gone Tomorrow 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Escape 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Free Willy 1994 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Horror in the Night 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Last Respects 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Report from the Grave 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Smoke Wrings 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Tales From the Cryptkeeper 1993 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Kidnapper 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Third Pig 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

W.E.I.R.D. World 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

99 and 44/100% Pure Horror! 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Assassins 1995 (Movie)

(Producer)

Comes the Dawn 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Doctor of Horror 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home 1995 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

In the Groove 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Staired in Horror 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Tales From the Crypt Presents Demon Knight 1995 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Assassin 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Omen 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

You, Murderer 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Came the Dawn 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Creep Course 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Death of Some Salesmen 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Forever Ambergris 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Half Way Horrible 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

House of Horror 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Maverick 1994 (Movie)

(Producer)

People Who Live in Brass Hearses 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Till Death Do We Part 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Two For the Show 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Well-Cooked Hams 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Curiosity Killed 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Free Willy 1993 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Strung Along 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Werewolf Concerto 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Beauty Rest 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Lethal Weapon 3 1992 (Movie)

(Producer)

Maniac at Large 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

On a Dead Man's Chest 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Seance 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Split Personality 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The New Arrival 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

This'll Kill Ya 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Abra Cadaver 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Carrion Death 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Dead Wait 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Deadline 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Delirious 1991 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Easel Kill 'Ya 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Loved to Death 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Mournin' Mess 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

None But the Lonely Heart 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Split Second 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Reluctant Vampire 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Trap 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Top Billing 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Undertaking Palor 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Yellow 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

'Til Death 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Cutting Cards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Dead Right 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Fitting Punishment 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

For Cryin' Out Loud 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Four-Sided Triangle 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Judy, You're Not Yourself Today 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Korman's Kalamity 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Lower Berth 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Mute Witness to Murder 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

My Brother's Keeper 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Television Terror 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Sacrifice 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Secret 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Switch 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Thing From the Grave 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Three's a Crowd 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

And All Through the House 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Collection Completed 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Lethal Weapon 2 1989 (Movie)

(Producer)

Lover Come Hack to Me 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Only Sin Deep 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Man Who Was Death 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Scrooged 1988 (Movie)

(Producer)

Lethal Weapon 1987 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Lost Boys 1987 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Ladyhawke 1985 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Goonies 1985 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Final Conflict 1980 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

As Ye Sow (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Confession (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Double Tap (TV Show)

Producer

Food For Thought (TV Show)

Executive Producer

King of the Road (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Made Men (TV Show)

Producer

Oil's Well That Ends Well (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Spoiled (TV Show)

Executive Producer

What's Cookin'? (TV Show)

Executive Producer
Director (44)

16 Blocks 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

Timeline 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

Lethal Weapon 4 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

Conspiracy Theory 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

Assassins 1995 (Movie)

(Director)

Maverick 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Lethal Weapon 3 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Radio Flyer 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Showdown 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Director

Two-Fisted Tales 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Director

The Ventriloquist's Dummy 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Director

Dig That Cat... He's Real Gone! 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Director

Lethal Weapon 2 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Scrooged 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Lethal Weapon 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Ladyhawke 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

The Goonies 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

The Toy 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Inside Moves 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

Get Smart 1953 - 1978 (Tv Show)

Director

Ghost Story 1953 - 1978 (Tv Show)

Director

Kojak (CBS) 1968 - 1970, 1973 - 1978 (Tv Show)

Director

Route 66 1953 - 1978 (Tv Show)

Director

Superman 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

The Detectives 1953 - 1978 (Tv Show)

Director

The F.B.I. 1953 - 1978 (Tv Show)

Director

The Felony Squad 1953 - 1978 (Tv Show)

Director

The Fugitive 1953 - 1970, 1972 - 1978 (Tv Show)

Director

The Loretta Young Theater 1953 - 1962, 1964 - 1970, 1972 - 1978 (Tv Show)

Director

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 1953 - 1978 (Tv Show)

Director

The Wild Wild West 1953 - 1978 (Tv Show)

Director

The Omen 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Sons and Daughters 1968 - 1970, 1974 - 1975 (Tv Show)

Director

Lucas Tanner 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Director

Senior Year 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Director

Hernandez, Houston P.D. 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Director

Stat! 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Director

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour 1968 - 1970 (Tv Show)

Segment Director

Twinky 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

Salt and Pepper 1968 (Movie)

(Director)

X - 15 1961 (Movie)

(Director)

A Shadow in the Streets (TV Show)

Director

Nightside (TV Show)

Director
Actor (9)

Casting By 2011 (Movie)

Interviewee (Actor)

The Directors 1998 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Margot Kidder 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Margot Kidder 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Corey Feldman: The E! True Hollywood Story 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Margot Kidder: The E! True Hollywood Story 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Sex and the Silver Screen 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Narrator

Premiere: Inside the Summer Blockbusters 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The Omen Legacy (TV Show)

Actor
Other (1)

Gangland 1988 (Movie)

assistance (Assistant)

Biography

A former off-Broadway actor who began directing commercials and industrial films in the late 1950s, Richard Donner went on to become one of the top-grossing directors in the 1970s and 1980s before tapering off later in his career. After directing numerous episodes of top shows like "The Twilight Zone" (CBS, 1959-1964), "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." (NBC, 1964-68) and "Kojak" (CBS, 1973-78), Donner achieved critical and commercial success with his genre-defining horror movie, "The Omen" (1976), widely considered to be the best of its kind. He followed up with the epic "Superman: The Movie" (1978), which, after a difficult production that resulted in his firing while shooting "Superman II" (1980), became a huge box office hit while setting the bar for all other comic book-based movies to follow. After a few critical and financial flops like "Inside Moves" (1980) and "The Toy" (1982), Donner directed the cult favorite adventure, "The Goonies" (1985), before breaking the mold again - this time in the buddy action genre - with "Lethal Weapon" (1987), which spawned three sequels of diminishing value over the next decade. Meanwhile, alongside his producer wife, Lauren Shuler-Donner, he stepped up as a prominent producer while his directing career started to wane, particularly after disappointments like "Radio Flyer" (1992), "Assassins" (1995) and "Conspiracy Theory" (1997). But throughout his career, Donner remained a true original that many fans and colleagues held in high regard.

Relationships

Fred Schwartzberg

Father

Hattie Schwartzberg

Mother
made appearances in several of her son's films died at age 92

Joan Schwartzberg

Sister

Lauren Shuler-Donner

Wife
worked together first time on "Ladyhawke" (1985) born c. 1951

EDUCATION

New York University

New York , New York

New York University

New York , New York

Parker Junior College

Milestones

2009

Executive produced the prequel feature "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"

2006

Directed Bruce Willis and Mos Def in the thriller "16 Blocks"

2003

Helmed the feature adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel "Timeline"; also co-produced

2000

Executive produced feature adaptation of comic book series "X-Men"

1999

Executive produced Oliver Stone's football drama "Any Given Sunday"

1998

Helmed "Lethal Weapon 4" with Gibson and Glover; also produced

1997

Reunited with Gibson for "Conspiracy Theory," co-starring Julia Roberts

1994

Produced and directed movie version of old TV series "Maverick," starring Mel Gibson

1990

Paid the then-record fee of $5 million to take over the direction of "Radio Flyer" (1992) from screenwriter and first-time director David Mickey Evans after ten days of shooting; Donner replaced cast and added more upbeat ending

1989

Served as executive producer and producer on cable series "Tales From the Crypt" (HBO); also directed various episodes

1987

Introduced cop team of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in "Lethal Weapon"; produced and directed

1985

First film as producer (with Lauren Shuler), "Ladyhawke"; also directed

1981

First film as executive producer, "Omen III: The Final Conflict"

1978

Directed "Superman"; replaced on the sequel "Superman II" by Richard Lester

1976

First major feature, "The Omen" was box office hit

1975

TV-movie producing and directing debut, "A Shadow in the Streets" (NBC)

1961

Feature directing debut, "X-15" starring Charles Bronson

1961

Directed numerous episodes of TV series including "Perry Mason" (CBS), "The Fugitive" (ABC), "Get Smart" (CBS, NBC), as well as the pilots for "Kojak" (CBS) and "Bronk" (CBS)

1960

Debut as TV director, episode of "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (CBS)

1958

Moved to Los Angeles, CA; began directing commercials, industrial films and documentaries

1950

Worked with director Martin Ritt on TV production of W Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage" for "The Teller of Tales"

Raised in Mount Vernon, NY

Began career as an actor off-Broadway

Bonus Trivia

.

Among Donner's acting jobs was a role on Martin Ritt's TV production of W Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage": "Marty told me I'd never make it as an actor because I couldn't take direction, but he thought I could give it, so he offered me a job as his assistant."

.

"He's known for being loud and blustery and funny. But inside is this wonderful, pure child that comes out beautifully in some of his films. Anything to do with mythos or mysticism, he's drawn to. As sophisticated as he is, he retains this sense of innocence that he tries to cover up. He believes. He has this boundless energy. Before there was the Energizer bunny, there was Dick Donner." – screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz quoted in Daily Variety, July 31, 1997

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