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John Avildsen, Director Of "Rocky", Dies At Age 81

A clip of "Rocky."

The legendary Hollywood director passed away.

John G. Avildsen died Friday at age 81.

Avildsen is most-known for his work directing two legendary franchises, the first Rocky film, and all three The Karate Kid movies.

His son, Anthony Avildsen, said his father died Friday in Los Angeles after his battle with pancreatic cancer.

He is survived by his sons Jonathan, Ashley, and Anthony, and his daughter Bridget.

Sylvester Stallone released the following statement about Avildsen, per Variety:

I owe just about everything to John Avildsen. His directing, his passion, his toughness and his heart — a great heart — is what made ‘Rocky’the film it became. He changed my life and I will be forever indebted to him. Nobody could have done it better than my friend John Avildsen. I will miss him.

Avildsen won the Academy Award for Best Director for his work on Rocky. He will be missed.