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Richard Glatzer truly can be remembered as someone who persevered in the face of insurmountable odds.
The writer and filmmaker, who along with husband Wash Westmoreland directed Julianne Moore's Oscar-winning turn in Still Alice, died Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
He was 63 and had been battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as ALS or Lou Gherig's disease. He was diagnosed with the motor neuron disease in 2011.
"Goodbye to Richard, one of the lovelier souls I worked with..." Alec Baldwin, who played Moore's husband in Still Alice, tweeted today upon hearing the news.
Glatzer had been hospitalized with an upper respiratory infection just days before the Oscars, where Moore picked up the Best Actress statue for her turn as a professor battling early onset Alzheimer's disease. The film was based on a novel by Lisa Genova.
"When Richard was diagnosed with ALS," Moore recalled in her Oscar acceptance speech, "Wash asked him what he wanted to do. Did he want to travel, did he want to see the world? He said that he wanted to make movies—and that's what he did."
Despite ultimately requiring an iPad to speak, Glatzer was a consistent presence on the movie's set.
"Richard had been diagnosed with ALS early in 2011—it was later that year we were approached to adapt the book of Still Alice," Westmoreland, with Glatzer by his side, told Filmmaker Magazine last September.
"We thought it might be too much to take on, but once we read the book, we saw enormous parallels between what Alice goes through and what Richard was going through. The diseases can be seen as opposites in some ways—Alzheimer's affects cognition whereas ALS attacks the body—but as they progress, both create barriers for the individual in relating to the wider world, and both demand a struggle to retain the sense of self."
Glatzer's directorial debut was the 1993 comedy Grief and he went on to helm the 2001 drama The Fluffer, 2006's Quinceañera and the last-days-of-Errol-Flynn biopic The Last of Robin Hood, starring Kevin Kline, with Westmoreland. He was also a creative consultant and consulting producer on America's Next Top Model.