A movie producer of the last 30 years, Lauren Shuler Donner studied film at Boston University before heading to Los Angeles, where she eventually landed a job at NBC as a camera operator on game shows. She earned her first film producing credit on the 1983 comedy hit, “Mr. Mom,” starring Michael Keaton. Her movies have grossed about $3 billion worldwide, the majority due to a spate of comic book adaptations in the early part of the 21st century.
Shuler Donner’s movies, especially in the latter part of her career, have tended to be mainstream big studio pictures aimed at teens and young adults, whether it was “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “Pretty in Pink” early in her career, or later with “X Men” and its sequels “X2,” “X Men: The Last Stand” and “X Men: Origins: Wolverine.” She also produced the political satire “Dave,” which was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and “You’ve Got Mail,” starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
The liberal Shuler Donner is unabashed about using her movies to advance her political views (“Dave” for politics, “Free Willie” for marine life and “Hotel for Dogs” for animal rights) or work behind the scenes. She has served on the advisory boards of Planned Parenthood and TreePeople, and was instrumental in campaigning for passage of 2008's California’s Proposition 2 ballot initiative that prohibits the restrictive confinement of certain farm animals raised for slaughter.
Shuler Donner is married to director Richard Donner, whom she met when they coproduced the 1985 film “Ladyhawke.”