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."

Share this with others on...

Among the apes Jane Goodall and Brett Morgen on documenting chimpanzees

Horse sense Chloé Zhao and Brady Jandreau on The Rider

The skin she lives in, part one Norbert Keil on the terror of ageing, memory loss and working with Rebecca Forsythe on Replace

The dreamers of dreams Arnaud Desplechin and Mathieu Amalric on Ismael’s Ghosts: Director’s Cut

Death of Danielle Darrieux Favourite actress of Max Ophuls and Jacques Demy

Gerard Butler rushed to hospital 300 star receives minor injuries in motorbike accident

More news and features

We're bringing you news, reviews and interviews with the stars from the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, the Cambridge Film Festival and the London East Asia Film Festival

We've recently been covering the New York Film Festival, the London Film Festival, Manchester's Grimmfest, the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, the San Sebastian Film Festival, Hungary's Miskolc Cinefest and the Hebridean International Film Festival.

Read our full for recent coverage.

Visit our festivals section.


Win a copy of the Blu-ray and book of A Man Called Ove in our latest competition.