The filmmaker, who helped kickstart the careers of actors including Sir Ian McKellen and Alan Bates, passed away in his native London.
Donner began his career as a teenager at Pinewood Studios and later made a name for himself as a director with 1960s films including Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and What's New Pussycat.
His career then took him to Los Angeles, where he worked in TV.
But his relatives insist Donner's proudest achievement was launching the acting careers of several British stars.
His cousin Gavin Asher says, "One of the things he was most proud of was what he did for the careers of quite a lot of British actors including Alan Bates, David Hemmings and Ian McKellen. A lot of them went on to eclipse his fame and success but he was very giving in that sense."