John G. Avildsen, Oscar-winning Rocky director, dies at 81 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

John G. Avildsen, Oscar-winning Rocky director, dies at 81

John Avildsen shows off the Oscar he won for best director for his motion picture Rocky at the annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, CA, on March 28, 1977. (AP Photo) John Avildsen shows off the Oscar he won for best director for his motion picture Rocky at the annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, CA, on March 28, 1977. (AP Photo)

(RNN) - John G. Avildsen, the Academy Award-winning director of Rocky, who later directed the first three The Karate Kid films, died Friday. He was 81. 

His eldest son, Anthony, told the Los Angeles Times his father died of pancreatic cancer.

Rocky (1976), starring Sylvester Stallone, won three Academy Awards: best picture, best director and best film editing. He and Stallone worked together again in Rocky V (1990).

In The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid Part II and The Karate Kid Part III, Avildsen directed Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. 

Avildsen received his first directing success with Joe (1970), a drama in which Susan Sarandon made her film debut. Joe received critical acclaim for its star, Peter Boyle. 

A documentary about Avildsen's life and career is in production. 

Besides Anthony, Avidsen is survived by two other sons, Jonathan and Ashley, and a daughter, Bridget.  

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved. 

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • 'Vicar of Dibley' actress Emma Chambers dies at 53

    'Vicar of Dibley' actress Emma Chambers dies at 53

    Saturday, February 24 2018 1:35 PM EST2018-02-24 18:35:24 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:58 PM EST2018-02-25 17:58:08 GMT
    British actress Emma Chambers has died at the age of 53.
    British actress Emma Chambers has died at the age of 53.
  • Sridevi, Bollywood leading lady of '80s and '90s, dies at 54

    Sridevi, Bollywood leading lady of '80s and '90s, dies at 54

    Saturday, February 24 2018 9:25 PM EST2018-02-25 02:25:47 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:58 PM EST2018-02-25 17:58:02 GMT
    (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File). FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2012 file photo, Indian actress Sridevi arrives at the Marrakech International Film Festival in Marrakech, at the Marrakech Congress Palace.Sridevi, Bollywood’s leading lady of the 1980s and ‘90...(AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File). FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2012 file photo, Indian actress Sridevi arrives at the Marrakech International Film Festival in Marrakech, at the Marrakech Congress Palace.Sridevi, Bollywood’s leading lady of the 1980s and ‘90...
    Sridevi, Bollywood's leading lady of the 1980s and '90s who redefined stardom for actresses in India, has died at age 54.
    Sridevi, Bollywood's leading lady of the 1980s and '90s who redefined stardom for actresses in India, has died at age 54.
  • Adina Pintilie's "Touch Me Not" wins Berlin's Golden Bear

    Adina Pintilie's "Touch Me Not" wins Berlin's Golden Bear

    Saturday, February 24 2018 2:25 PM EST2018-02-24 19:25:36 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:57 PM EST2018-02-25 17:57:57 GMT
    (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber). The team of 'Touch me not' pose on the stage after receiving a golden bear as best film during the awarding ceremony of the 68th edition of the International Film Festival Berlin, Berlinale, in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Fe...(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber). The team of 'Touch me not' pose on the stage after receiving a golden bear as best film during the awarding ceremony of the 68th edition of the International Film Festival Berlin, Berlinale, in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Fe...
    Director Adine Pintilie's "Touch Me Not" has won the top Golden Bear prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.
    Director Adine Pintilie's "Touch Me Not" has won the top Golden Bear prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Powered by Frankly