Danny Leiner, director of ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’ and ‘Harold & Kumar’, dead at 57

The director was reportedly suffering from cancer

Danny Leiner, who directed popular comedies Dude, Where’s My Car? and ‘Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle’, has passed away at the age of 57.

Leiner’s brother confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter and said the director died on Thursday (October 18) at his home in Los Angeles.

Dude, Where’s My Car?’ was released in 2000 and starred Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott as two young men who wake up hungover and have no recollection of where they’ve left their vehicle.

Despite negative reviews from critics, the film was a surprise hit and grossed $73 million worldwide.

Leiner then went on to direct stoner franchise Harold & Kumar – the first of which, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, was released in 2004 and grossed $24 million. The film starred John Cho and Kal Penn as two friends who go on a late night adventure after getting stoned while watching TV.

Leiner is also credited as directing episodes of several other big hitting series, including The Sopranos, Sports Night, Strangers With Candy, Arrested Development, The Office, Felicity, Everwood, Gilmore Girls, Freaks and Geeks, The Mind of the Married Man, The Tick and Party of Five.


Stars of his films, including Kutcher, Cho and Penn have all paid tribute to the late director on Twitter.

Ashton Kutcher wrote: “Rip Danny Leiner. Thank you for putting up with that young actor who thought he knew way too much way too soon in his career. ….and theeeeen? No and then!”

While John Cho said: “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.”

Kal Penn wrote: “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.”