Glatzer and Westmoreland adapted Still Alice from Lisa Genova’s novel about a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Glatzer was diagnosed with ALS just prior to starting the project. His condition rapidly deteriorated. Two days before the Oscars, he was taken to the hospital for severe respiratory problems. Moore won the best actress Oscar on Feb. 22. Glatzer said of reading the book to NPR :
“It just cut too close to the bone. But once I’d finished it, I felt determined to make Still Alice into a movie. It really resonated with me.”
Glatzer and Westmoreland met in 1995 and married in 2013. In a statement Tuesday, Westmoreland said:
“I am devastated. Rich was my soulmate, my collaborator, my best friend and my life. Seeing him battle ALS for four years with such grace and courage inspired me and all who knew him.
“In this dark time, I take some consolation in the fact that he got to see Still Alice go out into the world. He put his heart and soul into that film, and the fact that it touched so many people was a constant joy to him.
“Thank you to everyone for this huge outpouring of love. Richard was a unique guy — opinionated, funny, caring, gregarious, generous and so, so smart. A true artist and a brilliant man. I treasure every day of the short 20 years we had together.
“I cannot believe he has gone. But in my heart and the hearts of those who loved him, he will always be alive.”
In addition to to Westmoreland, Glatzer is survived by his sister, Joan, her husband, David, nieces and nephews, and his daughter, Ruby.
In her acceptance speech, Moore said of the duo:
“And finally, to our filmmakers, Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer, who had hoped to be here tonight but they can’t because of Richard’s health. When Richard was diagnosed with ALS, Wash asked him what he wanted to do. Did he want to travel? Did he want to see the world? And he said that he wanted to make movies, and that’s what he did.”