Richard Donner (born April 24, 1930) is an American film director, film producer, and comic book writer. The production company The Donners' Company is owned by Donner and his wife, producer Lauren Shuler Donner. After directing the horror film The Omen, Donner became famous for the hailed creation of the first modern superhero film, Superman, starring Christopher Reeve. The influence of this film eventually helped establish the superhero concept as a respected film genre. Donner later continued reinvigorating the buddy film genre with Lethal Weapon (1987) and its sequels.
In 2000, he received the President's Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. He was also nominated for Best Director in 1978 for Superman. Film historian Michael Barson writes that Donner had "emerged as one of Hollywood's most reliable makers of action blockbusters."
Donner was born Richard Donald Schwartzberg in the Bronx, New York City, the son of Hattie and Fred Schwartzberg; he has a sister, Joan. Donner started his career with hopes of acting but quickly moved into directing commercials and making business films. He moved into television in the late 1950s, directing some episodes...