(Reuters) - John Avildsen, the Oscar-winning director who made Hollywood’s quintessential underdog story in 1976 boxing saga “Rocky” with a then-unknown Sylvester Stallone, and crafted another inspiring tale in “The Karate Kid,” died on Friday at age 81, his family said.
Avildsen had been suffering pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, his son, Anthony, said by phone.
Avildsen won the Academy Award for best director for “Rocky” while the film was named best picture and other successes included the “The Karate Kid” series in the 1980s. He directed seven actors to Oscar nominations.
In the years before “Rocky,” Avildsen won praise for two dark character studies: “Joe” (1970) with Peter Boyle and Susan Sarandon and “Save the Tiger” (1973) starring Jack Lemmon, who won the Academy Award for best actor Continue reading "John Avildsen, Oscar-Winning Director Of ‘Rocky,’ Dead At 81"