Richard Donner (born Richard Donald Schwartzberg, April 24, 1939) is an American film director and also producer through his Donner/Shuler -Donner Productions company.
Born in the Bronx, New York City. He 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 of the Steve McQueen western serial . He has worked on over twenty-five other television series including, The Fugitive, Get Smart, The Wild Wild West, Gilligan's Island, The Six Million Dollar Man, Tales from the Crypt and a famous episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", as well as the serial, Danger Island from the childrens' program The Banana Splits. His first film was the cheap military drama X-15 (1962) starring Charles Bronson, it was not a great success and he returned to television work.
His break-through film was in 1976 with The Omen, produced in the 'horror boom' following The Exorcist. he followed it with the hit Superman in 1980 and has mixed commercial flops (Inside Moves, Radio Flyer) and successes (The Goonies, Lethal Weapon) since then. He has received little critical appreciation.
- "Mr. Donner has made several of the most successful and least interesting films of his age." David Thomson