Director Richard Glatzer has died after a long battle with Lou Gherig’s disease. He was 63.

Richard Glatzer Dies

Glatzer passed away in Los Angeles Tuesday, Block Korenbrot publicity firm spokesperson Ekta Farrar confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. Glatzer, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011, had seen his health rapidly decline in the last couple of years.

Following his death, Glatzer’s husband and co-director for Still Alice, Wash Westmoreland, released a statement. “I am devastated. Rich was my soulmate, my collaborator, my best friend and my life. Seeing him battle ALS for four years with such grace and courage inspired me and all who knew him,” Westmoreland said. “In this dark time, I take some consolation in the fact that he got to see Still Alice go out into the world. He put his heart and soul into that film, and the fact that it touched so many people was a constant joy to him.”

“Thank you to everyone for this huge outpouring of love. Richard was a unique guy — opinionated, funny, caring, gregarious, generous and so, so smart. A true artist and a brilliant man. I treasure every day of the short 20 years we had together,” Westmoreland continued. “I cannot believe he has gone. But in my heart and the hearts of those who loved him, he will always be alive.”


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Still Alice was Glatzer and Westmoreland’s last collaboration. Though near the end of filming he could only communicate by tapping his big toe on a specially designed iPad, he never missed a day on set. With Westmoreland at his side, Glatzer directed Julianne Moore to her first Oscar win, as she played the 50-year-old academic whose life is upended when she realizes she has early-onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice.

“When Richard was diagnosed with ALS, Wash asked him what he wanted to do,” Moore said in her Oscar acceptance speech. “Did he want to travel, did he want to see the world? He said that he wanted to make movies—and that’s what he did.”

Moore took to Twitter to remember the director, whose praises she sang continually while promoting the picture, writing, “I love you Richard.”

Alec Baldwin, who played Moore’s husband in the film, called Glatzer, “one of the lovelier souls I worked with…” 

After studying English at the University of Michigan, Glatzer briefly taught screenwriting before heading to Los Angeles to work as a producer. His directorial debut in 1993 was for the film Grief. Glatzer met Westmoreland in 1995, and together they collaborated on The Fluffer Quinceañera and The Last of Robin Hood before taking on the adaptation of Lisa Genova‘s novel Still Alice.

In addition to Westmoreland, Glatzer is survived by his daughter Ruby, sister Joan, step-brother David and nieces and nephews.

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