RIP: Rocky, Karate Kid Director John Avildsen

Published June 17th, 2017 - 07:01 GMT
Director John Avildsen. (Matt Winkelmeyer - GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA - AFP)
Director John Avildsen. (Matt Winkelmeyer - GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA - AFP)

John Avildsen, an Oscar-winning director behind efforts like Rocky (1976) and The Karate Kid (1984), passed away from pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was 81.

The actors behind his two most famous efforts, actors Sylvester Stallone and Ralph Macchio, paid him tribute; the two had starred in Rocky and The Karate Kid, respectively.

"The great director John G. Avildsen Who won the Oscar for directing Rocky! R. I. P. I'm sure you will soon be directing Hits in Heaven- Thank you , Sly," Stallone wrote, captioning a photo of him with Avildsen working on Rocky.

"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," Macchio said in a Tweet. He posted a collage of pictures of the two together, including photos of them working on the Karate Kid films.

Avildsen had directed Neighbors (1981), Happy New Year (1987) , and Lean on Me (1989). Despite his Oscar, not all his films received critical acclaim; his final effort, 1999's Inferno, for example, was panned.

Still: who else can say they directed a feature that spawned six sequels and remains popular forty years on?

Goodbye, John Avildsen.


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