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el Gibson and Steven Spielberg have paid tribute to Hollywood director Richard Donner following his death aged 91.

Donner, whose credits included The Goonies and the original Superman film, died on Monday in Los Angeles, Warner Bros confirmed.

Gibson found fame starring in the Donner-directed Lethal Weapon series alongside Danny Glover.

He described Donner as “my friend, my mentor”.

The actor added: “Oh, the things I learned from him! He undercut his own talent and greatness with a huge chunk of humility referring to himself as ‘merely a traffic cop.’

“He left his ego at the door and required that of others. He was magnanimous of heart and soul, which he liberally gave to all who knew him.

“If we piled up all the good deeds he did, it would stretch to some uncharted place in the firmament. I will sorely miss him, with all his mischievous wit and wisdom.”

Spielberg, a close friend, hailed Donner as “the greatest Goonie of all”.

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

“He was all kid. All heart. All the time. I can’t believe he’s gone, but his husky, hearty laugh will stay with me always.”

Born in the Bronx, New York, Donner began his career in television, with credits including anthology series The Twilight Zone and spy thriller The Man From Uncle.

After directing horror film The Omen in 1976, he found international acclaim for his work on Superman starring Christopher Reeve, often regarded as the first modern superhero film.

The Warner Bros blockbuster became the sixth-highest grossing film of all time after its theatrical run and won an Oscar for its visual effects.

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