DGA Statement on the Passing of John Avildsen

Avildsen Interview

June 16, 2017

Los Angeles – Directors Guild of America President Paris Barclay made the following statement upon learning of the passing of John Avildsen:

“We were greatly saddened to learn of the passing of beloved director John Avildsen. His iconic Rocky, which won the DGA Feature Film Award in 1976, has been lionized throughout our culture as the quintessential underdog story – a recurring theme in his notable body of work which included Save the Tiger and The Karate Kid franchise. Throughout the decades, his rousing portrayals of victory, courage and emotion captured the hearts of generations of Americans.

“A prolific director, John always found the time to give back to his Guild – from his service on our National Board as First Vice President and Assistant Treasurer, to his work on the Eastern and Western Directors Councils and DGA Negotiating Committee – advancing and protecting the creative and economic rights of directors. Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”

DGA Service and Awards:

John Avildsen joined the DGA in 1966. He served on the DGA’s National Board for three terms, serving as Assistant Treasurer from 1977-1978 and as First Vice President from 1978-1981. He also served on the DGA’s Eastern Directors Council from 1977-1990, on the Western Directors Council from 1992-1994, and was a member of the 1987 and 1996 DGA Negotiating Committees. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in 1976 for Rocky.

DGA Communications Department (310) 289-5333