John Guilbert Avildsen was an American film director who won an Oscar for directing the 1976 hit Rocky, starring Sylvester Stallone. Hailing from Illinois, he also directed all three of the original “Karate Kid” films. He was instrumental in shaping the career of many Hollywood stars including Sylvester Stallone.
Born in Oak Park, Illinois, John G. Avildsen after completing his education from The Hotchkiss School and New York University took up film direction as his career option. He polished his direction skill while working in a low budget feature Joe (1970) as assistant director. The film received critical acclaim and did moderate box office business. The success was followed by movie Save the Tiger (1973), an issue-oriented drama. The drama film was nominated for three Oscars, winning Best Actor for star Jack Lemmon. Avildsen directed Rocky (1976) staring Sylvester Stallone. The cult movie garnered ten Academy Award nominations and winning three, including Best Picture and Best Director. John G. Avildsen was Oscar nominated again in 1983 for directing the documentary short Traveling Hopefully and returned to work with Stallone again in Rocky V (1990). In 1984 he directed the three sequel of The Karate Kid, an American martial arts drama film. Apart from these he also Cry Uncle! (1971), Neighbors (1981), Lean on Me (1989) and 8 Seconds (1994). Suffering from pancreatic cancer he passed away on June 16, 2017 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 81.
Children: Bridget, Anthony, Jonathan and Ashley
(FOLLOWER OF Mr. JOHN GUILBERT AVILDSEN)
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