- LOS ANGELES
Director Danny Leiner--whose work spanned features, TV and advertising, the latter via production house Independent Media--passed away last week (10/18) after a battle with cancer.
Known and admired for his sharp wit and comedic vision, his tireless work ethic, valuable mentorship, consummate professionalism and collaborative nature, Leiner had a body of work ranging from the boisterous comedy features Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and Dude, Where’s My Car?, to indie ensemble comedy-drama The Great New Wonderful, to memorable episodes of classic series such as Arrested Development, The Sopranos, The Office, Felicity, Freaks and Geeks, Sports Night, Party of Five and Gilmore Girls, Leiner deftly conveyed his sense of humor, heart and creative voice, regardless of medium.
Along with his revered work in film and TV, which earned Golden Globe, Emmy, SAG, DGA and WGA awards, Leiner also made his mark in the advertising world, directing campaigns for the likes of Sprint, Ad Council, GameStop, Jack Link’s, Golfsmith and FreeCreditScore.com. In a statement, Leiner’s longtime collaborator, friend and Independent Media founder Susanne Preissler said, “Danny had spark. He was an imaginative wit. Principled, always the first to roll up his sleeves and jump right on in, searching endlessly for the comedy, the punchline, the laugh. Everything was an adventure and a privilege. But most of all, Danny had real heart. He loved life and the people around him dearly. I will miss him.”
Leiner is survived by his former spouse, Margaret Mendelson, mother Anne Leiner, sister Karen Leiner, and brother Ken Leiner.
A memorial in Los Angeles is being planned.