Danny Leiner, a film and television director whose feature films included “Dude, Where’s My Car” and “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle,” died Thursday. He was 57.
Leiner’s collaborator Ross Putman confirmed his death in a Facebook post, and described its cause as a long illness.
“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. He pushed us to do what he knew we were capable of,” Putman wrote.
“Harold & Kumar” stars John Cho and Kal Penn also remembered Leiner on Twitter.
“Danny was so sharp, so funny, and a great dinner companion. To his friends and family, my deepest condolences,” wrote Cho.
“He was such a funny, thoughtful, encouraging person,” Penn tweeted.
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.
— John Cho (@JohnTheCho) October 20, 2018
Very sad to learn that our friend Danny Leiner passed away. 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.
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) October 20, 2018
After graduating from SUNY Purchase, Leiner directed 1996 comedy “Layin’ Low,” starring Jeremy Piven and Edie Falco. His second feature, “Dude, Where’s My Car?” earned $73.2 million at the box office. His “Harold & Kumar” film resulted in two sequels, which Leiner did not direct. Leiner had also directed numerous episodes of TV shows including “How to Make It In America,” “The Mind of the Married Man,” “The Office,” “The Sopranos,” “Freaks and Geeks,” and “Arrested Development.” He was also active as a commercial director.
For the Crackle network, he directed several episodes of the comedy series “Backwash.”