Saturday, June 17, 2017

John G. Avildsen, 1935-2017

Director John G. Avildsen, who won an Oscar for directing the 1976 movie Rocky, has died aged 81.

Avildsen started his directorial career in the late 1960s, and quickly made a name for himself by directing Jack Lemmon to a second Oscar in Save the Tiger. (Lemmon won the Best Actor Oscar; he had won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Mr. Roberts.) In between Save the Tiger and Rocky, there was the quirky little W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings, a movie I really enjoyed but which doesn't seem to be very well remembered.

Avildsen would go on to do three of the Karate Kid movies as well as Rocky V, as if there weren't enough Rocky movies. Apparently he also did Neighbors, John Belushi's last movie and one I could never stand. And he was also supposed to direct Saturday Night Fever. There's an interesting set of movies.

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