The Oscar-nominated director Arthur Hiller, best known for helming the 1970 classic Love Story, died of natural causes Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 92.
In addition to his decades-long career in film and television, Hiller was the longtime president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, serving from 1993 to 1997. The Academy released a statement confirming Hiller’s death and expressing their condolences.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved friend Arthur Hiller,” current Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said. “I was a member of the Board during his presidency and fortunate enough to witness firsthand his dedication to the Academy and his lifelong passion for visual storytelling. Our condolences go out to his loved ones.”
Born in Canada in 1923, Hiller served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II before returning home to enroll in college and pursue his career in show business. He made his name directing episodes of television shows like Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and in 1957, he made his film directorial debut with the 1957 romance The Careless Years. Soon, he pivoted into full-time film directing, releasing the 1964 comedy-drama The Americanization of Emily with Julie Andrews and James Garner, the 1965 rom-com Promise Her Anything with Warren Beatty and Leslie Caron, and the 1967 war drama Tobruk with Rock Hudson.
Hiller’s biggest success, however, came in 1970, when he directed Love Story. Erich Segal adapted his own tearjerker novel for the big screen, with Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal headlining as two star-crossed college students. Not only was Love Story a box office smash, but it earned Hiller his first and only Oscar nomination, as well as coining the iconic line: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
After Love Story, Hiller went on to direct a diverse slate of films like The Hospital, The Man in the Glass Booth, Silver Streak, and The In-Laws. In 2006, while he was in his 80s, he directed his last film, the Jon Bon Jovi-starring comedy National Lampoon’s Pucked.
In addition to serving as Academy president, Hiller was also the president of the Directors Guild of America for four years.
Gwen Hiller, his wife of 68 years, died earlier this summer. He is survived by his daughter, Erica Hiller Carpenter, son Henryk, and five grandchildren.