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Harold & Kumar Director Danny Leiner Passes Away

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PopCult News is sad to bring word that Danny Leiner, the director of such stoner comedies as Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and Dude, Where’s My Car?, passed away late Thursday night, as reported by The Wrap.

“Danny was one of the producers with me on the first real film I ever made; he was not only gracious in sharing the job with some newbies just getting their sea legs, but taught us a great deal in the process,” wrote Ross Putman, who produced the 2014 film The Young Kieslowski with Leiner. “And we collaborated a few times after that, including on the film I just finished–which he helped champion for years.”

A graduate of SUNY Purchase, Leiner’s first feature film was the 1996 comedy Layin’ Low, starring Jeremy Piven and Edie Falco. His next feature Dude, Where’s My Car? in 2000 with Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott grossed $73.2 million at the box office — mostly due to the absurd premise and that terrific trailer that had audiences cracking up at the stupidity of it all. (The tattoo bit at the end always hit well with crowds.) He then directed Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle in 2004, which spawned two sequels in 2008 and 2011.

Leiner also directed episodes of Freaks & Geeks, Gilmore Girls, The Office, Arrested Development and The Sopranos. The last film he directed was the 2009 comedy Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach, reuniting him with his Dude star Seann William Scott.

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