John G. Avildsen, Director Of Rocky, Karate Kid Dies At 81
17 June, 2017, 11:21
Avildsen also knew zero about boxing. His eldest son, Anthony told the Times that John had passed away from pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
It won an Oscar for best picture, as well one for Avildsen as director. In it, a teenager hounded by bullies played by Ralph Macchio seeks help from a Japanese handyman (Noryuki "Pat" Morita) who teaches him about karate.
The Director's Guild released a statement honouring Avildsen's impact on the industry. Sylvester Stallone, then unknown, had written the script and sought Avildsen to direct it, but Avildsen was already working on another film. "Throughout the decades, his rousing portrayals of victory, courage and emotion captured the hearts of generations of Americans", the statement said.
Rocky was made for a modest $1 million U.S. and generated $225 million in ticket sales to became a cultural phenomenon, with a series of unforgettable characters and scenes and a blend of romance with pugilistic action.
In accepting the Oscar for best director in March 1977, Avildsen told the audience, "I guess what Rocky did was give a lot of people hope, and there was never a better feeling than doing that".
Mr Avildsen was also the director behind the original three The Karate Kid films, the first of which made $120 million in box office sales and garnered widespread critical acclaim. He returned to the franchise to direct 1990's "Rocky V".
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