R.I.P. John G. Avildsen

Of all the movies, it could be said that 1976’s Rocky bears the most iconic and iconographic moments.

That is why it is painful to announce that the person responsible for capturing those moments as they were, John G. Avildsen, has past away.

Avildsen’s career has been marked by two of the most endearing sports franchises, Rocky (directing the first and fifth installments) and The Karate Kid (helming the first three installments). His first feature came in  1970 with the Peter Boyle-led vigilante vehicle Joe (which some believe led Norman Lear to create Allin the Family’s character Archie Bunker).

After that, he directed Save the Tiger, which netted Jack Lemmon the Best Actor Oscar in 1974.

Avildsen rose to prominence in 1976, when a young actor named Sylvester Stallone wrote a script called Rocky and allowed Avildsen to direct. This opportunity landed Avildsen Best Director in 1976.

His other credits include 1989’s Lean on Me starring Morgan Freeman and the bulk-riding biopic 8 Seconds starring Luke Perry.

John G. Avildsen passed of pancreatic cancer. He was 81.

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