You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.”

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Taron Egerton Elton John Rocketman Live

    Elton John and Taron Egerton Duet at 'Rocketman' Awards Season Event at the Greek Theatre

    “Rocketman” has officially launched into awards season. Paramount hosted a screening of the film with a live-performance of the score by the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and a headlining performance by Elton John and the film’s star Taron Egerton. John and Egerton — who is in contention for best actor for his portrayal of the singer [...]

  • Hailee Steinfeld Dickinson Premiere

    Hailee Steinfeld, Jane Krakowski on What Modern Women Can Learn From Emily Dickinson

    Emily Dickinson lived in the 1800s, but if you ask the team behind Apple TV Plus’ upcoming series, “Dickinson,” her story is more current than ever. Hailee Steinfeld stars in the the modern-day retelling of the poet’s young life. The actress — who makes her first full-time foray into television with the role and also [...]

  • Don Cheadle

    ACLU Bill of Rights Gala to Honor Don Cheadle, Feature Appearances by Selena Gomez, Regina Hall

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California will honor “Avengers: Endgame” and “Black Monday” star Don Cheadle at the organization’s annual Bill of Rights dinner on Nov. 17 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Cheadle will be recognized for his activist work as an advocate for racial and gender equality, immigration reform, reproductive and LGBTQ [...]

  • Helen Mirren attends the LA Premiere

    Why Helen Mirren Considers Catherine the Great to Be 'Superhuman'

    It’s no secret that Dame Helen Mirren has a knack for nailing regal roles. Following her Oscar-winning on-screen reign as Queen Elizabeth II back in 2006, the thespian brings yet another powerful ruler to life in HBO’s limited mini-series “Catherine the Great.” Just as she does on the small screen as Russian Empress Catherine II, [...]

  • Taika Waititi Jojo Rabbit Premiere

    Why Director Taika Waititi Decided to Play Adolf Hitler in 'Jojo Rabbit'

    “Fox Searchlight blackmailed me into doing it,” Taika Waititi told Variety of playing Adolf Hilter in “Jojo Rabbit” at the film’s premiere at American Legion Post 43 on Tuesday night in Hollywood. Staying mum when asked which other actors had been on his wish list to play the role, Waititi explained why he eventually decided [...]

  • Jessica Biel Limetown Premiere

    Why 'Limetown' Star & Producer Jessica Biel Thought the Show Was Based on a True Story

    In a world of increasingly outlandish headlines, the story behind “Limetown” — in which an entire community in rural Tennessee disappears overnight — seems plausible. Even Jessica Biel, who executive produces and stars in the Facebook Watch television adaptation of the hit 2015 podcast, was initially convinced that it was real. “I just thought I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content