Biography

John Guilbert Avildsen was an American film director. He won the Academy Award for Best Director in 1977 for Rocky. Other films he directed include Joe, Save the Tiger, Fore Play, The Formula, Neighbors, For Keeps, Lean on Me, The Power of One, 8 Seconds, Inferno, Rocky V and the first three The Karate Kid films.

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 New York University. After starting out as an assistant director on films by Arthur Penn and Otto Preminger, John Avildsen received his first success with the low budget feature Joe (1970) which received critical acclaim for star Peter Boyle and moderate box office business.

This was followed by another critical success, Save the Tiger (1973), that was nominated for three Oscars, winning Best Actor for star Jack Lemmon. Avildsen's greatest success was Rocky (1976), garnering ten Academy Award nominations and winning three, including Best Picture and Best Director. He later directed what was expected to be the series' final installment, Rocky V (1990). His other films include Cry Uncle! (1971), Neighbors (1981), The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid Part II (1986), The Karate Kid Part III (1989), Lean on Me (1989) and 8 Seconds (1994).

Avildsen was the original director for both Serpico (1973) and Saturday Night Fever (1977), but was fired over disputes with producers Martin Bregman and Robert Stigwood, respectively.

John Guilbert Avildsen was an American film director. He won the Academy Award for Best Director in 1977 for Rocky. Other films he directed include Joe, Save the Tiger, Fore Play, The Formula, Neighbors, For Keeps, Lean on Me, The Power of One, 8 Seconds, Inferno, Rocky V and the first three The Karate Kid films.

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 New York University. After starting out as an assistant director on films by Arthur Penn and Otto Preminger, John Avildsen received his first success with the low budget feature Joe (1970) which received critical acclaim for star Peter Boyle and moderate box office business.

This was followed by another critical success, Save the Tiger (1973), that was nominated for three Oscars, winning Best Actor for star Jack Lemmon. Avildsen's greatest success was Rocky (1976), garnering ten Academy Award nominations and winning three, including Best Picture and Best Director. He later directed what was expected to be the series' final installment, Rocky V (1990). His other films include Cry Uncle! (1971), Neighbors (1981), The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid Part II (1986), The Karate Kid Part III (1989), Lean on Me (1989) and 8 Seconds (1994).

Avildsen was the original director for both Serpico (1973) and Saturday Night Fever (1977), but was fired over disputes with producers Martin Bregman and Robert Stigwood, respectively.

Personal Info

Known For Directing

Gender Male

Known Credits 36

Birthday 1935-12-21

Day of Death 2017-06-16

Place of Birth Oak Park, Illinois, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Directing TV ShowsMovies

Bottom of the 9th Director
1999 Inferno Director
1994 8 Seconds Director
1992 The Power of One Director
1990 Rocky V Director
1989 The Karate Kid, Part III Director
1989 Lean On Me Director
1988 For Keeps Director
1987 Happy New Year Director
1986 The Karate Kid, Part II Director
1984 The Karate Kid Director
1983 A Night in Heaven Director
1982 Traveling Hopefully Director
1981 Neighbors Director
1980 The Formula Director
1978 Slow Dancing In The Big City Director
1976 Rocky Director
1975 W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings Director
1975 Fore Play Director
1973 Save the Tiger Director
1972 The Stoolie Director
1971 Okay Bill Director
1971 Cry Uncle! Director
1971 Guess What We Learned in School Today? Director
1970 Joe Director

Acting

2017 Frank Serpico as Himself (archive footage)
2017 American Satan as Talk Show Host
2017 40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic as Himself
2017 John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs
2015 The Real Miyagi
2014 Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films as Himself
2005 Make Your Own Damn Movie as Himself
1993 The Troma System as Himself
1963 Greenwich Village Story as Alvie
1953 The Academy Awards (1 episode)

Editing

1992 The Power of One Editor
1990 Rocky V Editor
1989 The Karate Kid, Part III Editor
1989 Lean On Me Editor
1986 The Karate Kid, Part II Editor
1984 The Karate Kid Editor
1978 Slow Dancing In The Big City Editor
1971 Okay Bill Editor
1971 Guess What We Learned in School Today? Editor

Production

2017 American Satan Executive Producer
1989 Lean On Me Executive Producer
1978 Slow Dancing In The Big City Producer
1965 Mickey One Executive Producer

Writing

1971 Okay Bill Writer
1971 Guess What We Learned in School Today? Writer

Crew

1971 Okay Bill Cinematography
1971 Guess What We Learned in School Today? Cinematography

Camera

1970 Joe Director of Photography

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