RIP John G. Avildsen, Dead at 81

Rocky and Karate Kid director John G. Avildsen has passed away at age 81. John G. Avildsen will be fondly remembered.

RIP John G. Avildsen, Academy Award winning director of Rocky and The Karate Kid

Today sees the tragic passing of Academy Award winner John G. Avildsen. According to Variety, the Rocky and The Karate Kid helmer has passed away at age 81, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his four children.

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, John G. Avildsen launches his Hollywood career as an assistant to directors Arthur Penn and Otto Preminger (themselves both three-time Oscar nominees). Avildsen made his directorial debut with the 1970 drama Joe, starring Peter Boyle. A few years later, he would direct Jack Lemmon to a Best Actor Oscar with 1973’s Save the Tiger. (Save the Tiger was Lemmon’s second and final Oscar win, having previously winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for 1955’s Mister Roberts).

It was with 1976’s Rocky, however, that John G. Avildsen would truly make a name for himself. The boxing drama took home three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing. Rocky also launched a franchise that has seen six big screen sequels. Avildsen even returned to direct Rocky V in 1990.

Rocky wasn’t Avildsen’s only underdog story that became a major franchise. He not only directed the 1984 original but returned for two sequels: The Karate Kid Part II in 1986 and The Karate Kid Part III in 1989.

Among John G. Avildsen’s other notable credits include 1980’s The Formula (starring Marlon Brando and George C. Scott), the 1981 comedy Neighbors (which marked the final performance from the late John Belushi) and the 1989 drama Lean on Me, starring Morgan Freeman. His final feature as a director was 1999’s Inferno, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. The actioner also reunited Avildsen with Karate Kid franchise star Pat Morita.

What’s your favorite John G. Avildsen film? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The post RIP John G. Avildsen, Dead at 81 appeared first on


Video Games Movies / Film Music Nerd News Nerd Star Trek Trailers DC Comics Sci-Fi Television / TV Comic Books Movie News DC Cinematic Universe Movie Trailers News Comedy / Humor TV News Nintendo Wii Batman Technology Batman v Superman Superman Celebrities Music Videos Comic Strips TV Promos Wonder Woman Animation Marvel Comics Social Media Sports Arizona / AZ Stargate Superbowl Football Linkin Park Man of Steel Science Suicide Squad Xbox 360 DC Films Editorials Government Nintendo DS Box Office Comic Book News DC Television Universe Green Lantern Harley Quinn Microsoft Rock News Suns Twitter Videos Basketball Blogosphere Business DC Extended Universe Daily Deals Food / Beverage Marijuana Marvel Cinematic Universe PlayStation 3 Spider-man Staff News Super Bowl 50 The Joker Video of the Day Warner Bros. Web Development Wonder Woman Angry Birds Apple Aquaman Archie Comics Auctions Batgirl Birds of Prey Bizzaro Bizzaro Girl Bluetooth Books Bryan Fuller C4MULA CBS California California / CA Cartoons Chester Bennington Crime Customization DC Entertainment DC TV Dead by Sunrise Deaths Deep Space Nine Ebay Email Facebook Fanmade Features Federation Financial Florida / FL Fringe Gmail Google+ Greg Berlanti Hawkman Health Japan Julien-K Literature Luxury Martian Manhunter Mobile / Wireless Multiplayer Multitouch Music News NSFW Nevada / NV Nintendo 3DS No Warning Operating Systems Orgy PSN Papa Roach Pete's Dragon Press Releases Rap Music Reviews Rockstar Seth Macfarlane Software Software Update Sony Star Trek Beyond Streaming Media Supergirl Syko Sam SykoDeals SykoPoetry Tech News The Avengers The CW The Flash The Flintstones Themes Transportation Trekkers Trekkies Trekspertise United Family Music Voyager Walmart Warehouse 13 Website Tools Windows Windows 10 Windows Media Xbox Live iMac