• John Avildsen, director of ‘Rocky’, dies at 81

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    LOS ANGELES: John Avildsen, the Oscar-winning director whose blockbuster films like Rocky and The Karate Kid championed the ascent of underdogs, has died. He was 81 years old. The filmmaker died of pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times, citing Avildsen’s eldest son. The 1976 hit Rocky earned Avildsen an Oscar for best director. The filmmaker also directed the box-office winner The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid, Part II (1986), and “The Karate Kid, Part III” in 1989. Stallone took to Instagram to pay tribute to Avildsen, who helped usher the actor to stardom: “R. I. P. I’m sure you will soon be directing Hits in Heaven- Thank you, Sly.”

    AFP

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