Richard Glatzer, the co-director and co-writer of the Julianne Moore-starring drama Still Alice, has lost his battle with ALS.
Glatzer bravely fought amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain, for four years and had been hospitalised for the past three weeks.
Glatzer wrote and directed Still Alice with his husband, Wash Westmoreland. Glatzer was able to see his film’s lead actress earn an Academy Award for her portrayal of a linguistics professor struggling with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Westmoreland released a statement earlier today (via Deadline):
“I am devastated. Rich was my soul mate, 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. 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. I cannot believe he has gone. But in my heart and the hearts of those who loved him, he will always be alive.”
Still Alice was the fourth film directed by the duo, after The Fluffer, Quinceañera, and The Last of Robin Hood. Regardless of his condition, Glatzer completed the film however he could, even directing Moore via iPad.
“By the time we got to set, Richard was more severe than we anticipated,” Moore had told Deadline in a pre-Oscars interview.
“He really lost function from the upper half of his body, yet he directed the movie. He and Wash are partners. They are married. Richard directed me with an iPad. They were both dealing with his disease. What happened is that basically what we were depicting in the film is what they were going through in real life as a couple.”
Glatzer was 63.