|Birth Day:||January 19, 1932|
|Birth Place:||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
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Lester started in television in 1950, working as a stage hand, floor manager, assistant director and then director in less than a year, because no one else was around who knew how to do the work.
In 1953, Lester moved to London and began work as a director in television, working for the low-budget producers the Danziger Brothers on episodes of Mark Saber, a half-hour detective series.
Lester's next film was a huge success: Superman II. Production on Superman II began before Superman was completed, and had to be halted to concentrate on getting the first movie completed. After the first film was released in late 1978, the Salkinds went back into production on Superman II without informing Superman director Richard Donner; they placed Lester behind the camera for the completion of the rest of the 25 percent left of the film. Although Donner had shot 75 percent, a majority of what was planned for the film, much of his footage was jettisoned or reshot during Lester's time on the project.
In 1988, Lester reunited most of the Three Musketeers cast to film The Return of the Musketeers, released the following year. During filming in Spain, actor Roy Kinnear, a close friend of Lester, died after falling from a horse. Lester finished the film, then returned only to direct Paul McCartney's concert film Get Back (1991).
In 1993, he presented Hollywood U.K., a five-part series on British cinema in the 1960s for the BBC.
Director Steven Soderbergh is among many who have called for a reappraisal of Lester's work and influence. He wrote Getting Away with It, published in 1999, about Lester's career, which consists of interviews with Lester.
Gene Hackman, who played Lex Luthor, refused to return for the reshoots, so Lester instead used a stunt double and an impersonator to loop Luthor's lines onto footage of Hackman shot by Donner. Some of Donner's original footage was integrated into television versions of the film. In November 2006, Donner's footage was reedited into Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, consisting primarily of his footage with Lester's footage used only for scenes not shot during Donner's principal photography.
In 2012 the British Film Institute awarded Lester a Fellowship, the British film industry's highest honour, in recognition of his work. The award was presented in a public ceremony on March 22 at the National Film Theatre, and was followed by a screening of Lester's Robin and Marian. The citation for his fellowship recognises that "Richard Lester has created a unique body of work which has enriched the lives of millions with his brilliantly surreal humour and innovative style. Although born in America he has lived in Britain for 60 years and created some of the most enduring and influential creations of British cinema."
Currently, Richard Lester is 91 years, 4 months and 22 days old. Richard Lester will celebrate 92nd birthday on a Friday 19th of January 2024.
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