One of Hollywood's greats, Richard Donner, has died at the age of 91. He's the man that made the world believe a man could fly with 1978's Superman and Superman 2 (a film he was fired off halfway through production). Donner also gave us huge Hollywood successes like the Lethal Weapon films, The Goonies, The Omen, and Scrooged.
But before he became a feature film director, he put in the work as a TV director. You'll find Donner credited with episodes of The Streets of San Francisco, Kojak, Ironside, The Twilight Zone, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Wild Wild West, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, The Fugitive, Get Smart, Perry Mason, Gilligan's Island, Wagon Train, and The FBI.
Donner's TV work included The Twilight Zone episode Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, one of the all-time most iconic episodes of television.
People credit Spielberg and Lucas with birthing the modern Hollywood blockbuster, but it was Richard Donner who really shaped it in a way that set the template for much of what we have seen from Hollywood for the past 40 years. His films were big, edgy crowd pleasers. The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw defined his impact nicely in closing his obit on Donner today:
The story of Richard Donner is the story of Hollywood from the 1980s onwards: horror, superheroes, action and franchise properties. Donner gave all of it a human touch.
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