The man behind the flamboyant reinvention of Hollywood's Batman franchise, Joel Schumacher, has died aged 80.
From a job dressing department store windows to costume design for Woody Allen's 1970s movies Interiors and Sleeper, the New Yorker made his mark on the big screen in 1985 with the coming-of-age movie St Elmo's Fire.
That project launched the careers of the Brat Pack — Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy — and had the movie industry clamouring for more of Schumacher's brilliance.
The Lost Boys, Flatliners, John Grisham adaptations The Client and A Time to Kill and the critically acclaimed Falling Down followed.
Audiences loved Schumacher's overly dramatic and exuberant Batman Forever in 1995, but panned its follow-up, Batman & Robin in 1997.
"He saw deeper things in me than most and he lived a wonderfully creative and heroic life," said Jim Carrey, who played the Riddler in Batman Forever.
"I am grateful to have had him as a friend."
Schumacher was openly gay and honest about his rough upbringing and early introduction to drugs, alcohol and sex.
He was born on August 29, 1939, to Francis and Marian Schumacher. He was raised in Queens by his mother after his father died when he was four.
As a youngster, he quickly became enmeshed in the city's nightlife.
"The street was my education," Schumacher told entertainment website Vulture earlier this year.
"You could ride your bike over the 59th Street Bridge then. So I rode my bike everywhere. I was in Manhattan all the time and all over Queens. If you’re a kid on a bike, anything can happen, and predators come out of the woodwork, my God. I looked very innocent, but I wasn't."
Schumacher was sometimes regretful that he played a role in hoisting fame on his young stars.
His 1987 vampire horror comedy The Lost Boys was inspired by Peter Pan and starred Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland and Corey Feldman.
Before dying in 2010, Haim struggled with drug addiction and said he was sexually assaulted in the film industry.
Feldman recounted on Twitter trying cocaine during filming as a 16-year-old.
When Schumacher found out, Feldman said, the director temporarily fired him.
"He tried to prevent my descent," said Feldman, who continued to struggle with drugs.
Colin Farrell was given his first lead role by Schumacher in 2000's Tigerland and in 2004, the filmmaker recreated Andrew Lloyd Weber's Phantom of the Opera for the screen.
Most recently, he directed two episodes of Netflix's House of Cards in 2013.
A representative for Schumacher said he died on June 22 in New York after being diagnosed with cancer a year ago.