John G Avildsen, perhaps best known for directing Rocky and the Karate Kid films, has died at the age of 81.
His son, Anthony, confirmed the filmmaker had succumbed to pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles.
Avildsen won the Best Director Oscar for Rocky, a low-budget film written by the-then-unknown actor Sylvester Stallone. It went on to become a Hollywood franchise.
The film was shot on a budget of less than a million US dollars and completed in just 28 days. In an interview with Associated Press in 2014, the director said he was surprised by the response to movie.