Still Alice co-writer and co-director Richard Glatzer has died aged 63.
Glatzer, who worked on the Oscar-winning film with his husband Wash Westmoreland, passed away on Tuesday in Los Angeles after being diagnosed with ALS (motor neurone disease) four years ago.
He died less than three weeks after Still Alice star Julianne Moore won the best actress Oscar on 22nd February.
Glatzer discovered he had ALS shortly before he started work on Still Alice – the story of a woman with early-onset Alzheimers, based on Lisa Genova’s novel. He was due to attend the Academy Awards but suffered respiratory problems two days before the ceremony, instead watching from his hospital bed with his partner.
“I am devastated. Rich was my soulmate, 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,” Westmoreland said in a statement, adding: “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.”
“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,” he continued.
Julianne Moore talked about Glatzer and Westmoreland in her Oscars acceptance speech last month, saying: “Finally, to our filmmakers, Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer, who had hoped to be here tonight but they can’t because of Richard’s health. 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.”
Friends and fans, including Moore, have taken to Twitter to remember the director.