John G. Avildsen

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John Guilbert Avildsen (born December 21, 1935 in Oak Park , Illinois - † June 16, 2017 in Los Angeles , California ) was an American film director , film editor and film producer who was awarded an Oscar in 1977 for directing Rocky .


The son of Chicago-based mechanical engineering entrepreneur Clarence J. Avildsen went to school at Hotchkiss School and graduated from New York University . John G. Avildsen first worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency and did his military service as an assistant to a clergyman. He made his first steps in the film business in the early 1960s as an assistant to directors Arthur Penn and Otto Preminger , and from the mid-1960s he also worked as a cameraman and film editor . In 1969 he directed his first own film, Turn on to Love , which was followed by more than 25 other directing projects by 1999. He experienced his most artistically and financially successful period in the 1970s and 1980s. Avildsen was also listed under the pseudonym Danny Mulroon.

Avildsen is most associated with the Rocky and Karate Kid film series , of which he made two and three films, respectively. At the beginning of his career, he was considered a director who helped actors achieve character roles. So was Jack Lemmon for Save the Tiger (1973) and the Oscar Award, while Sylvester Stallone , Talia Shire , Burgess Meredith and Burt Young of Rocky was nominated as the best main and supporting actors.

John G. Avildsen was married to Marie Maturevich and Tracy Swope. Both marriages ended in divorce. He was the father of four children. His son Anthony worked on the award-winning documentary John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs in 2017 , while his youngest son Ashley founded the Sumerian Records label .

He died on June 16, 2017 at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at the age of 81 from complications from pancreatic cancer .

Filmography (selection)


In addition Avildsen was three times for the negative film prize Razzie as " bad tester director nominated": 1981 Formula 1990 for Karate Kid III and 1991 for Rocky V .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ CJ Avildsen, 65, of Tool Company. In: The New York Times . The New York Times Company, July 6, 1964, accessed June 19, 2017 .
  2. a b James White: Rocky Director John G. Avildsen Dies, Aged 81. In: Empire . Bauer Media Group , June 18, 2017, accessed June 19, 2017 .
  3. a b Sandra Brennan: John G. Avildsen. In: All Movie Guide . All Media Network, June 19, 2017, accessed June 19, 2017 .
  4. Jake Coyle; Anthony McCartney: His hit films about underdogs were long shots themselves . In: The Washington Post , June 18, 2017, p. C08.
  5. Maya Salam: John Avildsen, Director of 'Rocky' and 'The Karate Kid,' Dies at 81. In: The New York Times . The New York Times Company, June 16, 2017, accessed June 17, 2017 .