Director Danny Leiner, who made such fun comedy hits as Dude, Where's My Car and Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, has died at the age of 57. The director had been fighting cancer for some time before his passing.
Danny Leiner's brother, Ken, spoke to THR about his brother's passing, noting that Danny Leiner died at his home on Thursday, October 18. He was at his home in Los Angeles at the time of his death.
During his career, Danny Leiner took on gigs in both television and on the big screen. He's probably most known for his directorial work on Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, a movie that propelledJohn Cho and Kal Penn into stardom and grossed $24 million during its original theatrical run. That flick went on to spawn two sequels, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.
In the television world, Danny Leiner directed episodes of Gilmore Girls, Everwood, The Sopranos, The Tick, Felicity, Freaks and Geeks. The Office and Party of Five. Danny Leiner's final directorial gig was for the short-lived ABC series Selfie back in 2014. That gig reunited Leiner with John Cho, who had previously starred in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle.
John Cho, who most recently headlined the film Searching, took to Twitter after the news broke to share memories of his time with Danny Leiner, calling him "a great dinner companion."
In addition to his directing work, Danny Leiner also worked as a producer in Hollywood. His producer pal Ross Putman also paid tribue to his friend on a post on Facebook, giving some sound advice about what fans of the director should be doing with their weekend. He said:
If there's one thing I can say about Danny the professional, it's that he refused to let us settle for anything less than our best. He pushed us to do what he knew we were capable of. Danny the person was sardonic, sharp, and savvy, with a love for culture and comedy of all kinds. It hasn't really sunk in yet, but the world has lost a good one. And since I'm feeling blue, and maybe you are too, a watch of his seminal comedy Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle might be just the ticket to cheer you back up. I can't imagine he'd discourage you from doing it.
A memorial service is expected to come together in Los Angeles sometime in the near future, although details have not been set yet. Our thoughts go out to Danny Leiner's family and friends during this difficult time.