(Photo Credits: Kasper2006 / Public domain)

Hollywood writer and film director Joel Schumacher passed away in New York City this Monday, June 22, after a year-long battle with cancer, according to multiple reports. He was 80 years old.

Here is a look back on his journey in life.

Schumacher’s films included the 80s hits St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) and The Lost Boys (1987). He also directed two Batman films: Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997); worked on two Julia Roberts starrer: the supernatural psychological horror film Flatliners (1990) and a romance film titled Dying Young (1991). 

Moreover, Schumacher directed two John Grisham adaptations: The Client (1994)—a film that stars Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, and Brad Renfro; and A Time to Kill (1996), which stars Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, and Matthew McConaughey. Schumacher’s other films included Phone Booth (2002), Veronica Guerin (2003), and The Phantom of the Opera (2004), to name a few.

Schumacher started his career in the fashion industry but he became addicted to drugs and had to start anew. He revealed in an interview: 

“When I got off hard drugs in 1970, I thought, ‘I got to go back to basics, and I’ve really screwed up my life here. So what can I do to make my life better?’ And I thought, ‘I’ve got to pursue my original dream as a child to become a movie director.'”

With his experience in the fashion industry as the starting ground, Schumacher went on to start working as a costume designer in Hollywood. After which, he then started writing screenplay for movies—Sparkle (1976), Car Wash (1976), and The Wiz (1978) before his theatrical directing debut The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981).

Schumacher was an openly gay man and was never one to shy away from discussing his sex life. He once revealed during an interview with Vulture that he’s had about 10,000 or 20,000 partners already, “but that is not unusual.” 

Schumacher was born on August 29, 1939 in New York City to Francis and Marian (née Kantor) Schumacher. His mother raised him singlehandedly after his father died when he was only four. 

His last directorial work was for the first season of Netflix’s House of Cards where he directed two episodes way back in 2013.

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