Friday 15 November 2019

Richard Glatzer: Inspirational director of 'Still Alice' dies after battle with motor neurone disease

Richard Glatzer was co-writer and co-director of Still Alice (AP)
Richard Glatzer was co-writer and co-director of Still Alice (AP)
Julianne Moore is spellbinding as Alice Howland in Still Alice.
Flood warning: Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore as problematic daughter and mother in Still Alice.
Actress Julianne Moore with her Best Actress award for her role in the film "Still Alice" arrives at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California February 22
Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Richard Glatzer, who co-wrote and directed the Alzheimer's drama Still Alice alongside his husband Wash Westmoreland while battling motor neurone disease, has died at the age of 63.

Diagnosed in 2011 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), the pair took on the project of Still Alice in a very early stage of Glatzer's disease.

During the 23-day shoot, Glatzer communicated with one finger using a text-to-speech app on his iPad. By the time of the press tour for the film in late 2014, Glatzer was only able to communicate by typing on the device with his big toe.

Their film earned star Julianne Moore her first Oscar for her portrayal of an academic suffering from early onset Alzheimer's.

Unable to attend the ceremony, Glatzer watched Moore's win on February 22 from a hospital, where he had been taken two days prior for respiratory problems. Westmoreland watched by his side.

A New York native, Glatzer started out his career in academia, earning a doctorate in English from the University of Virginia before turning his attentions entirely to film and television.

He met Westmoreland in 1995. The couple collaborated on four films as co-writers and directors, including the 2006 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience winner Quinceanera.

READ: Julianne Moore: 'Forget the Oscar, the reaction from real life patients was greatest reward'

Glatzer also worked on a number of television shows including Road Rules, Divorce Court and America's Next Top Model.

But it was Still Alice that seemed to be Glatzer's crowning achievement.

"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," Glatzer reflected in late 2014 while promoting the film.

Glatzer died in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

READ: IFI to host discussion on Oscar-winning drama Still Alice with voices of Irish advocates living with dementia

PA Media

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top