Movies & TV / News

Director of Rocky John G. Avildsen Dead At 81

June 17, 2017 | Posted by Joseph Lee

Variety reports that director and producer John G. Avildsen has passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 81. Avildsen is best known for directing Rocky and the first three Karate Kid movies. He won an Academy Award and a DGA Award for directing Rocky, which also won Oscars for Best Pictures and film editing, among other nominations. He eventually returned to the franchise with 1990’s Rocky V. He was also nominated for Best Documentary Short at the Academy Awards for Traveling Hopefully in 1983.

Star Sylvester Stallone said: “I owe just about everything to John Avildsen. His directing, his passion, his toughness and his heart — a great heart — is what made ‘Rocky’ the film it became. He changed my life and I will be forever indebted to him. Nobody could have done it better than my friend John Avildsen. I will miss him.

The Director’s Guild added: “We were greatly saddened to learn of the passing of beloved director John Avildsen. His iconic ‘Rocky,’ which won the DGA Feature Film Award in 1976, has been lionized throughout our culture as the quintessential underdog story – a recurring theme in his notable body of work which included ‘Save the Tiger’ and ‘The Karate Kid’ franchise. Throughout the decades, his rousing portrayals of victory, courage and emotion captured the hearts of generations of Americans.

He was on the DGA’s National oard for three years, the DGA’s Eastern Directors Council from 1977-1990, on the Western Directors Council from 1992-1994, and was a member of the 1987 and 1996 DGA Negotiating Committees. He’s survived by his daughter Bridget and his sons Anthony, Jonathan and Ashley.

411 would like to give our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

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John G. Avildsen, Rocky, Joseph Lee