Sylvester Stallone has led tributes to Rocky director John Avildsen after his death.
The filmmaker passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to his son Anthony. Rocky remains his biggest success, picking up the Best Picture Oscar and becoming the biggest U.S. box office haul of 1976.
Stallone penned the script for the film, which Avildsen considered a masterpiece, and the actor was one of the first to remember the director in a touching tribute on Instagram.
Sharing a behind the scenes snap of himself and Avildsen on the set of the film, Stallone wrote: “The great director John G. Avildsen who won the Oscar for directing Rocky. I’m sure you will soon be directing Hits in Heaven.”
Meanwhile, Carl Weathers, who starred as Apollo Creed in four Rocky films, wrote: “John Avildsen RIP. Your filmmaking legacy remains. #BeLove.”
Actor Ralph Macchio also paid tribute to Avildsen, who directed him in the 1984 movie The Karate Kid and it’s spin-offs, calling him “my friend” while sharing a collage of photos.
“He brought inspirational stories to us all and had a guiding hand in changing my life,” Macchio added.
And Joe Manganiello, who starred in drama Stano, directed by Avildsen, shared a snap of himself with the director, writing: “Rest In Peace John Avildsen.”
Following Avildsen’s death, The Directors Guild of America paid tribute to him in a statement, which remembered him as a “beloved” and “prolific” director.
“Throughout the decades, his rousing portrayals of victory, courage, and emotion captured the hearts of generations of Americans,” the statement added.
“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.”
– Cover Media