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Screenwriter Don Rhymer dies at 51

Credits include 'Big Momma's House,' animated 'Rio'

Don Rhymer, a screenwriter behind animated films including “Rio” and feature comedies including the “Big Momma’s House” franchise and “The Santa Clause 2,” died of cancer in Los Angeles on Nov. 28. He was 51.

Rhymer penned Sony Pictures Animation’s “Surf’s Up” before contributing to Twentieth Century Fox Animation’s 2011 hit “Rio.” His final credit will come on the “Rio” sequel, penned with Carlos Saldanha and to be released in 2014.

Rhymer penned 2000 Martin Lawrence comedy vehicle “Big Momma’s House” with Darryl Quarles as well as 2006 sequel “Big Momma’s House 2” and received story credit on 2011’s “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.”

He was also one of the screenwriters on the 2005 feature adaptation of “The Honeymooners” that starred Cedric the Entertainer and the 2006 Christmas comedy “Deck the Halls” starring Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick.

Rhymer started in television, penning episodes of the Valerie Harper sitcom “Valerie” in the late 1980s. He was co-producer of the brief animated series “Fish Police.” He subsequently wrote episodes of Burt Reynolds vehicle “Evening Shade” and “Hearts Afire,” both from Linda Bloodworth-Thomason.

“Big Momma’s House” was his first feature credit.

Rhymer was born in Union, S.C., and majored in English and communications at James Madison U. in Virginia.

He documented his long battle with cancer in the blog “Let’s Radiate Don.”

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