The world of Hollywood is in mourning this weekend after director Michael Cimino, best known for his legendary film The Deer Hunter, passed away. He was 77 years-old.
News of his death was confirmed by Variety.
Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux confirmed the news via Twitter, writing: ‘Michael Cimino died peacefully, surrounded by his family and the two women who loved him. We loved him too.’
The New York born filmmaker experienced both the great highs and the crashing lows of Hollywood celebrity during a tumultuous career.
His gritty 1978 film about the Vietnam War and its effects on American society garnered him a Best Director Academy Award, and as one of the film’s producers a Best Picture Oscar too.
The movie starred Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Cazale.
‘Our work together is something I will always remember. He will be missed,’ De Niro said in a statement Saturday.
In all, the director only ever made eight movies.
His Hollywood career came crashing down after being tapped to make the western Heaven’s Gate, a now legendary disaster for both himself and the studio that hired him, United Artists.
The 1980 film starring Walken, along with John Hurt and Kris Kristofferson, ran way over-budget, and upon release was panned by critics and shunned by audiences, never making back even a fraction of the initial investment.
Ultimately, although me made several more low-profile films, Cimino ended up a recluse, only appearing in public for a handful of screenings and movie-related events.
Rest in peace, Michael Cimino!