‘Happy Days’ Star Henry Winkler Tributes Richard Donner After Film Legend’s Death

by Jennifer Shea

“Happy Days” star Henry Winkler is mourning film legend Richard Donner after the latter died on Monday at age 91.

“Dick Donner : a Gentle man . Funny .. Great story teller .. Great husband .. great dinner conversationalist .. and that is just the tip of the iceberg . RIPeace,” Winkler tweeted Monday evening.

Richard Donner Was a Prolific Hollywood Force

The Hollywood director and producer was famous for directing movies like “Superman,” “Lethal Weapon” and “The Goonies.” As a producer, he was responsible for films ranging from “Free Willy” to “X-Men” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

According to Rolling Stone, Donner had agreed to direct the long-awaited “Lethal Weapon 5” next. The 91-year-old said it would be the final movie in the series: “It’s both my privilege and my duty to put it to bed.”

Donner made his directorial debut on a 1960 episode of the CBS Western “Wanted: Dead or Alive.” He also directed six episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” including one that starred William Shatner. His most recent film is 2006’s “16 Blocks,” which stars Bruce Willis as a hard-drinking cop, per The Hollywood Reporter.

The Hollywood heavyweight is survived by his wife, “X-Men” producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who he married when he was 55. The couple later formed a very successful production company that backed hit films including “Deadpool.”

Besides the “Happy Days” star, also mourning Donner was Steven Spielberg, who worked with him on “The Goonies.”

“Dick had such a powerful command of his movies and was so gifted across so many genres,” Spielberg said in a statement. “Being in his circle was akin to hanging out with your favorite coach, smartest professor, fiercest motivator, most endearing friend, staunchest ally, and — of course — the greatest Goonie of all. He was all kid. All heart.”

‘Happy Days’ Star Wishes for Unity

In a series of recent tweets, Winkler has bemoaned the divisions riling the country and called for reunification. While his tweets drew some online backlash from people who called him out-of-touch, Winkler later clarified that his hope was for the country to reunite absent some sort of 9/11-style cataclysmic event.

“We are So divided as a country,” Winkler tweeted on July 3. “Only a cataclysmic Event, that makes us depend on one another again, can bring us back together.”

Some Twitter users pointed out that the pandemic was pretty cataclysmic, but Winkler stuck to his guns.

“The pandemic pushed us inside.. away from each other,” he tweeted. “No that was not it.”

Finally, Winkler stressed that he was merely hoping for reunification, not wishing for devastation.

In characteristic fashion, the “Happy Days” star also apologized for any confusion.

“I’m so sorry for not being clear,” he added.