John G Avildsen dies

Rocky director loses cancer fight at 81

by Amber Wilkinson

Oscar-winning director John G Avildsen has died at the age of 81.

His son Anthony told the LA Times he had died of pancreatic cancer.

The director won an Academy Award for Sylvester Stallone boxing drama Rocky - which was also a success at the box office, making the most money of any film in 1976.

He also directed the Karate Kid trilogy and Save The tiger, which saw Jack Lemmon win his only best actor Oscar.

Stallone led the tributes to its director, posting a picture of the pair of them on Instagram, with the message: "RIP. I'm sure you will soon be directing Hits in Heaven - Thank you , Sly."

President of the Directors Guild of America Paris Barclay, also paid tribute. he said: "Throughout the decades, his rousing portrayals of victory, courage and emotion captured the hearts of generations of Americans."

Karate Kid star Ralph Macchio also paid tribute on Twitter. He wrote: RIP to my friend and KK director John G Avildsen. He brought inspirational stories to us all and had a guiding hand in changing my life."

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