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Veronica Guerin director Schumacher (80) dies of cancer

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Director Joel Schumacher

Director Joel Schumacher

REUTERS

Director Joel Schumacher

Veronica Guerin director Joel Schumacher, who also had massive success with St Elmo's Fire and two Batman films, has died. He was 80.

The filmmaker passed away yesterday in New York after a year-long battle with cancer.

A native New Yorker, Schumacher was first a sensation in the fashion world after attending Parsons School of Design and decorating Henri Bendel's windows.

As a director, he established himself as a film-maker of great flare, if not often good reviews, in a string of mainstream films in the 1980s and 1990s.

The success of his first film, St Elmo's Fire, with Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy, not only helped make a name for the 'Brat Pack' but made Schumacher in demand in Hollywood. He followed it up with the 1987 vampire horror comedy The Lost Boys.

After films including Flatliners and A Time To Kill, Schumacher inherited the DC universe from Tim Burton.

Cartoonish

His garish take on Batman resulted in two of the superhero franchise's most cartoonish movies in 1995's Batman Forever and 1997's Batman & Robin.

Irish audiences will know him best for Veronica Guerin, in which Cate Blanchett played the late Irish Independent reporter who was brutally murdered in a gangland shooting.

Schumacher also directed the Colin Farrell thriller Phone Booth, as well as Tigerland and The Phantom Of The Opera.

Most recently, he directed two episodes of Netflix's House Of Cards in 2013.

Schumacher was raised in Queens by his mother after his father died when he was four years old. As a teenager, he quickly became enmeshed in the city's nightlife.

"The street was my education," Schumacher told New York magazine earlier this year.

"If you're a kid on a bike, anything can happen, and predators come out of the woodwork, my God. I looked very innocent, but I wasn't."