John G. Avildsen
John Guilbert Avildsen
December 21, 1935
Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||June 16, 2017 81) (aged|
|Other names||Johnny Avildsen|
|Spouse(s)||Marie Olga Maturevich (Melissa McCall)|
Tracy Brooks Swope (1987–2006; separated)
|Parent(s)||Ivy (née Guilbert) and Clarence John Avildsen|
John Guilbert Avildsen (December 21, 1935 – June 16, 2017) was an American film director. He is perhaps best known for directing Rocky (1976), which earned him the Academy Award for Best Director and the first three The Karate Kid films. Other films he directed include Joe (1970), Save the Tiger (1973), The Formula (1980), Neighbors (1981), Lean on Me (1989), Rocky V (1990), and 8 Seconds (1994).
Avildsen was born in Oak Park, Illinois, the son of Ivy ( née Guilbert) and Clarence John Avildsen.He was educated at the Hotchkiss School and at New York University. He was of Danish heritage.
After starting out as an assistant director on films by Arthur Penn and Otto Preminger, Avildsen's early low-budget feature Joe (1970) received good notices for star Peter Boyle and moderate box-office business.Avildsen's first success came with the low-budget 1971 cult classic comedy film Cry Uncle! (released in the UK as Superdick and on video as American Oddballs), a 1971 American film in the Troma Entertainment library that stars Allen Garfield. This was followed by Save the Tiger (1973), a film nominated for three Oscars, winning Best Actor for star Jack Lemmon.
His greatest success came with Rocky (1976), which he directed working in conjunction with writer and star Sylvester Stallone.The film was a major critical and commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1976 and garnering ten Academy Award nominations and winning three, including Best Picture and Best Director. Avildsen later returned to direct what was then expected to be the series' final installment, Rocky V (1990).
He directed the mystery-drama The Formula (1980), starring Marlon Brando and George C. Scott,for which he was nominated for Razzie Award for Worst Director.
Avildsen's other films include Neighbors (1981), For Keeps (1988), Lean on Me (1989), The Power of One (1992), 8 Seconds (1994),and the first three The Karate Kid films.
He was the original director for both Serpico (1973) and Saturday Night Fever (1977), but was fired over disputes with, respectively, producers Martin Bregman and Robert Stigwood.
His last film was Inferno (1999), starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
A documentary on the life, career and films of Avildsen was released in August 2017. John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs (2017), directed and produced by Derek Wayne Johnson,features interviews with Sylvester Stallone, Ralph Macchio, Martin Scorsese, Jerry Weintraub, and Burt Reynolds, among others. The documentary is a companion to the book The Films of John G. Avildsen: Rocky, The Karate Kid, and other Underdogs, written by Larry Powell and Tom Garrett.
Avildsen died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on June 16, 2017. He was 81.The cause of his death was pancreatic cancer, according to his son, Anthony Avildsen.
Avildsen's first wife was Marie Olga Maturevich (Melissa McCall). After they divorced, he married actress Tracy Brooks Swope in 1987; they separated in 2006.He had five children. His estranged son Ash (born November 5, 1981), founded Sumerian Records. Another son, Jonathan Avildsen, appeared in the films The Karate Kid Part III and Rocky V . His eldest son was named Anthony and he had a daughter Penelope Avildsen. John also had a daughter with Tracy Swope, Bridget.
|1969||Turn on to Love|
|1970||Guess What We Learned in School Today?|
|1973||Save the Tiger|
|W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings|
|1976||Rocky|| Academy Award for Best Director |
Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Director
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Direction
|1978||Slow Dancing in the Big City|
|1980||The Formula||Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Director|
|1982||Traveling Hopefully||Nominated—Academy Award for Best Documentary, Short Subject|
|1983||A Night in Heaven|
|1984||The Karate Kid|
|1986||The Karate Kid Part II|
|1987||Happy New Year|
|1989||Lean on Me|
|The Karate Kid Part III||Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Director|
|1990||Rocky V||Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Director|
|1992||The Power of One|
Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen, written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. It tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated, kind-hearted working class Italian-American boxer, working as a debt collector for a loan shark in the slums of Philadelphia. Rocky, a small-time club fighter, gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. The film also stars Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian's brother Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Rocky's trainer Mickey Goldmill, and Carl Weathers as the reigning champion, Apollo Creed.
Sylvester Enzio Stallone is an American actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. After his beginnings as a struggling actor for a number of years upon arriving to New York City in 1969 and later Hollywood in 1974, he won his first critical acclaim as an actor for his co-starring role as Stanley Rosiello in The Lords of Flatbush. Stallone subsequently found gradual work as an extra or side character in films with a sizeable budget until he achieved his greatest critical and commercial success as an actor, starting in 1976 with his self-created role as boxer Rocky Balboa, in the first film of the successful Rocky series (1976–present). In the films, Rocky is portrayed as an underdog boxer who fights numerous brutal opponents, and wins the world heavyweight championship twice.
The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts drama film written by Robert Mark Kamen and directed by John G. Avildsen. It is the first installment in the Karate Kid franchise, and stars Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue and William Zabka. The Karate Kid follows Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), a teenager taught karate by Mr. Miyagi (Morita) to help defend himself and compete in a tournament against his bullies, one of which is the ex-boyfriend of his love interest Ali Mills (Shue).
Rocky IV is a 1985 American sports drama film written, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone. The film co-stars Dolph Lundgren, Burt Young, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Tony Burton, Brigitte Nielsen and Michael Pataki. Rocky IV was the highest-grossing sports movie of all time for 24 years, before it was overtaken by The Blind Side. It is the sequel to the 1982 film Rocky III and it is the most financially successful installment in the Rocky franchise.
Rocky II is a 1979 American sports drama film written, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone. It is the sequel to the 1976 film Rocky, and was the last installment in the Rocky franchise that was distributed solely by United Artists.
Rocky V is a 1990 American sports drama film. It is the sequel to the 1985 film Rocky IV and it is the fifth installment in the Rocky franchise, written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, and co-starring Talia Shire, Stallone's real-life son Sage, and real-life boxer Tommy Morrison, with Morrison in the role of Tommy Gunn, a talented yet raw boxer. Sage played Rocky Balboa, Jr, whose relationship with his famous father is explored. After Stallone directed the second through fourth films in the series, Rocky V saw the return of John G. Avildsen, whose direction of Rocky won him an Academy Award for Best Director.
William Conti is an American composer and conductor, best known for his film scores, including Rocky, The Karate Kid, For Your Eyes Only, Dynasty, and The Right Stuff, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Score. He also received nominations in the Best Original Song category for "Gonna Fly Now" from Rocky and for the title song of For Your Eyes Only. He was the musical director at the Academy Awards a record nineteen times.
Irwin Winkler is an American film producer and director. He is the producer or director of over 50 motion pictures, dating back to 1967's Double Trouble, starring Elvis Presley. The fourth film he produced, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969), starring Jane Fonda, was nominated for nine Academy Awards. He won an Oscar for Best Picture for 1976's Rocky. As a producer, he has been nominated for Best Picture for three other films: Raging Bull, The Right Stuff, and Goodfellas.
Cue cards, also known as note cards, are cards with words written on them that help actors and speakers remember what they have to say. They are typically used in television productions where they can be held off-camera and are unseen by the audience. Cue cards are still currently being used on many late night talk shows including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Conan as well as variety and sketch comedy shows like Saturday Night Live due to the practice of last minute script changes. Many other TV shows, including game and reality shows, still use cue cards due to their mobility, as a teleprompter only allows the actor or broadcaster to look directly into the camera.
The Karate Kid Part III is a 1989 American martial arts drama film and a sequel to The Karate Kid Part II (1986). The film stars Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Robyn Lively, and Thomas Ian Griffith in his film debut. As was the case with the first two films in the series, it was directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, with stunts choreographed by Pat E. Johnson and music composed by Bill Conti. In the film, the returning John Kreese, with the help of his best friend Terry Silver, attempts to gain revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi which involves hiring a ruthless martial artist and harming their relationship.
Bruce Malmuth was an American filmmaker, best known for his work in the action and thriller genres and for his acting role in The Karate Kid film franchise.
"You're the Best" is a song performed by Joe Esposito and written by Bill Conti (music) and Allee Willis (lyrics), which came to prominence as the music to the All-Valley Karate Championships montage in the 1984 movie The Karate Kid in which the protagonist, Daniel LaRusso, proves a surprisingly formidable contender.
Rocky is an American media franchise consists of multi-media releases including American boxing sports-dramas, created by Sylvester Stallone. The first film, Rocky (1976), and its five sequels centered on the boxing career of the eponymous fictional character, Rocky Balboa. For the seventh and eighth spin-off-sequels Creed (2015) and Creed II (2018), the series shifted towards Adonis Creed, the son of Rocky's deceased rival and friend Apollo Creed, as the titular boxer with the now-retired Rocky appearing as his trainer. All films in the series were written or co-written by Stallone except for Creed, which was written by Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington. The original film and the fifth installment were directed by John G. Avildsen, Creed was directed by Coogler, Creed II was directed by Steven Caple Jr., and the rest were directed by Stallone. A third Creed film is set to release in 2022. Also in development are another sequel to the Rocky franchise and a prequel television series based on the early years of Rocky Balboa.
Caro Jones was a Canadian-American actress and casting director who was responsible for casting more than 1,000 films, theater productions and television shows over the course of more than forty years, including Rocky, The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres.
W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings is a 1975 American comedy film directed by John G. Avildsen, starring Burt Reynolds, and written by Thomas Rickman. The 20th Century Fox film features the acting debut of Jerry Reed.
Derek Wayne Johnson is an American film director, screenwriter and producer.
The Karate Kid is an American martial arts drama multi-media franchise, created by screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen and produced by Columbia Pictures. The series follows the journey of various coming-of-age teenagers who are forced to stand up for themselves after being pushed around by bullies, usually their own age. They are aided by a mentor who teaches them martial arts so they can take on their rivals, or prove their worth in a tournament.
James Crabe, A.S.C. was an American cinematographer, known for his work in the 1970s and '80s on numerous films, including Rocky, The China Syndrome, Night Shift, The Karate Kid, and Thank God It's Friday. He was a regular collaborator of director John G. Avildsen, and a two-time Primetime Emmy Award winner, in addition to being nominated for multiple ASC Awards and an Academy Award.
The crane kick is a fictionalized version of the Mae tobi geri. The move was created by Darryl Vidal for the classic film The Karate Kid (1984). The move is taught by the character Mr. Miyagi to Daniel LaRusso and eventually used in the final scene with his arch rival Johnny Lawrence. The move involves a one-legged karate stance and launches into a flying jumping kick. The movie became synonymous with karate in the United States and helped popularize the martial art in that country.
Jane Kurson is an American film editor known for her work on titles like Beetlejuice and Hot Shots!