Actors Sylvester Stallone and Ralph Macchio both took to social media on Friday to bid a fond farewell to director John G Avildsen, who has died aged 81.
Avildsen won the Best Director Oscar in 1977 for ‘Rocky,’ the hugely popular boxing movie which made Stallone a star, and went on to direct Macchio in 1984’s ‘The Karate Kid,’ a similar triumph of the underdog story.
Paying tribute on Twitter, Macchio remarked that Avildsen “had a guiding hand in changing my life,” whilst Stallone mused on Instagram, “I’m sure you will soon be directing hits in Heaven.”
RIP to my friend and KK director John G Avildsen. He brought inspirational stories to us all and had a guiding hand in changing my life. pic.twitter.com/TRobJn3pq2
— Ralph Macchio (@ralphmacchio) June 17, 2017
A post shared by Sly Stallone (@officialslystallone) on Jun 16, 2017 at 8:00pm PDT
‘Rocky’ supporting actor Carl Weathers also took to Twitter to pay his respects.
John Avildsen RIP. Your filmmaking legacy remains. #BeLove
— Carl Weathers (@TheCarlWeathers) June 17, 2017
Avildsen reunited with Stallone on ‘Rocky V,’ and directed all three of the original ‘Karate Kid’ films with Macchio. His other credits included 1973’s ‘Save the Tiger’ which won Jack Lemmon a Best Actor Oscar, 1989’s ‘Lean on Me’ with Morgan Freeman, and 1992’s ‘The Power of One’ with Stephen Dorff.
He passed away on Friday 16 June from pancreatic cancer.