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‘Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle’ Director Danny Leiner Dies at 57

He also directed "Dude, Where's My Car?"

Danny Leiner

Danny Leiner

Sophie Giraud/Endgame/Kingsgate/Senator International/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Danny Leiner, who directed two stoner classics in “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” has died at 57 after “a long illness.” Ross Putnam, who produced several films with Leiner, announced the news on Facebook. “If there’s one thing I can say about Danny the professional, it’s that he refused to let us settle for anything less than our best,” Putman wrote in his post.

“He pushed us to do what he knew we were capable of. Danny the person was sardonic, sharp, and savvy, with a love for culture and comedy of all kinds. It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but the world has lost a good one.”

Born May 13, 1961, Leiner graduated from SUNY Purchase and made his feature debut in 1996 with “Layin’ Low.”

Kal Penn and John Cho, who starred in “Harold and Kumar” and its two sequels, reacted to Leiner’s passing on Twitter: “Very sad to learn that our friend Danny Leiner passed away,” wrote Penn. “We initially got to know each other when he directed Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. Sending my love to his family & friends. He was such a funny, thoughtful, encouraging person.”

Added Cho, “I am so saddened to hear about the passing of Danny Leiner, who became my friend when he directed Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle. Danny was so sharp, so funny, and a great dinner companion. To his friends and family, my deepest condolences.”

Leiner was also active in TV throughout his career, directing episodes of everything from “Arrested Development” and “The Office” to “Gilmore Girls” and “The Sopranos.” His last credit is an episode of “Selfie,” which reunited him with Cho.


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