Sylvester Stallone, Ralph Macchio pay tribute to late director John G Avildsen

·UK Movies Writer
John G Avildsen, Oscar-winning director of 'Rocky' and 'The Karate Kid,' has sadly died aged 81 (credit: MGM-UA, Sony)
John G Avildsen, Oscar-winning director of ‘Rocky’ and ‘The Karate Kid,’ has sadly died aged 81 (credit: MGM-UA, Sony)

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.”

‘Rocky’ supporting actor Carl Weathers also took to Twitter to pay his respects.

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.

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