Still Alice director and co-writer Richard Glatzer has died at the age of 63 after losing battle with ALS.
Richard Glatzer was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2011, soon after he and his husband, Wash Westmoreland, began adapting Oscar-winning Still Alice.
He was too unwell to attend last month’s Academy Awards, when Julianne Moore picked up the best actress Oscar for her leading role in Still Alice.
Wash Westmoreland said Richard Glatzer’s courage “inspired me and all who knew him”.
“I am devastated,” Wash Westmoreland said, in a statement.
“Rich was my soulmate, my collaborator, my best friend and my life.”
“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.”
Julianne Moore simply tweeted: “I love you Richard.”
The actress paid tribute to Richard Glatzer in her speech at the Oscars on February 22.
“When Richard was diagnosed with ALS, Wash asked him what he wanted to do. Did he want to travel? Did he want to see the world? And he said that he wanted to make movies, and that’s what he did.”
Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland met in 1995 and married in 2013.
He had previously taught screen-writing in New York and worked as a TV producer on shows including America’s Next Top Model.
It was Still Alice, the tale of a linguistics professor coping with early on-set Alzheimer’s that was to bring the film-makers award glory.
Richard Glatzer told NPR (National Public Radio) that reading Lisa Genova’s novel – on which the film is based – “cut too close to the bone”.
“But once I’d finished it, I felt determined to make Still Alice into a movie. It really resonated with me.”
During the 23-day shoot, Richard Glatzer communicated by typing with one finger on an iPad, but said he “felt very much heard by everyone, every day. And it’s so very important if you’re struggling with a disease like this to feel you still matter”.
“It’s ironic that in my deteriorated state I’d be able to make a film that was creatively everything I’d ever wished for,” he told the Associated Press last year.
Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, of Sony Pictures Classics – which distributed the film, called the death of Richard Glatzer “a profound loss for all of us who worked with him and know him as an exceptional human being”.
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