Joel Schumacher dies of cancer

Lost Boys director was 80

by Jennie Kermode

Joel Schumacher
Joel Schumacher Photo: Kasper2006

Joel Schumacher, director of The Lost Boys, St Elmo's Fire, Falling Down and The Phantom Of The Opera, has died at the age of 80, according to his publicist. He had been living with cancer for a year.

The New York City-born costume designer who found his way into directing in 1974 with Virginia Hill was also known for his contributions to Dark Knight law with Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, picking up the franchise after Tim Burton left it and approaching it in playful style. He worked with Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman on Flawless and with Susan Sarandon on John Grisham adaptation The Client. He made his final film, Tresspass, in 2011, but had more recently found his way back into television work.

Living his life openly as a gay man at a time when many people in Hollywood were open about their homophobia, Schumacher carved out a career on his own terms and fought to stay in the game when some of his films received a lukewarm reception. His tenacity paid off as he kept returning to form and delivering powerful films that defied expectations.

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