LOS ANGELES — Still Alice co-writer and director Richard Glatzer, who battled ALS while helming the film that earned Julianne Moore a Best Actress Oscar for her role as an Alzheimer’s patient, has died. He was 63.
Glatzer died Tuesday in Los Angeles after a four-year battle with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, his publicist confirmed Wednesday.
Still Alice was the fourth film Glatzer co-directed with husband Wash Westmoreland, after The Last of Robin Hood (2013), Quinceañera (which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in 2006) and The Fluffer (2001).
A native of Long Island and New Jersey, Glatzer took an interest in moviemaking as a young man, leading the film program at the University of Virginia and becoming friends with Frank Capra. His passion became his job in the early 1980s, when he moved to the West Coast and began working on the TV show Divorce Court.
Glatzer was a dedicated fundraiser and activist for AIDS-related causes, and worked on several independent films and reality TV shows including Road Rules, The Osbournes and America’s Next Top Model. During the filming of Still Alice, when in advanced stages of the disease, he typed with one finger and used a text-to-speech app on his iPad.
“Richard was first and foremost a lover of film,” Moore said in a statement. “Even after his ALS diagnosis in 2011, he felt compelled to continue his work as a filmmaker and storyteller. Many of his own experience in dealing with disease informed the adaptation of Still Alice.”
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.