UPDATED with more reactions: Stanley Donen, the director whose mind and feet where behind several of the best-liked musicals in Hollywood’s golden age including Singin’ in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, On the Town and many more, died Sunday at age 94. The news spurred quick reaction from Hollywood admirers and disciples including fellow directors Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro and the Directors Guild, which nominated him five times.
“Stanley Donen was a friend and an early mentor,” Spielberg said Sunday. “His generosity in giving over so many of his weekends in the late ’60s to film students like me to learn about telling stories and placing lenses and directing actors is a time I will never forget. He co-directed what some consider the greatest Hollywood musical of all time Singing In the Rain, but when he left his partnership with Gene Kelly to go it alone he made his most compelling movies in multiple genres. Charade, Bedazzled and Two For the Road were my favorites.
“When visiting New York I will miss not bumping into him on his daily walks and hear him talking about life and film which for Stanley were inseparable.”
Said DGA president Thomas Schlamme: “Stanely Donen was a treasure whose beloved contributions to film helped shape Hollywood’s Golden Era. His roots as a dancer and choreographer, and infectious energy informed his iconic style and precision as a director – which earned him five DGA feature film award nominations for his films Singin’ in the Rain (shared with Gene Kelly) in 1952, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in 1954, Funny Face in 1957, Damn Yankees (shared with George Abbott) in 1958, and Two for the Road in 1967. We are lucky to have had his presence as an active DGA member through the years, where he so generously shared his craft knowledge and experiences with his fellow members. Stanley’s unmistakable influence on generations of filmmakers can still be seen all around us today in contemporary film and television. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten.”
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