The 'Rocky' and 'Karate Kid' director died Friday in Los Angeles at age 81

By Gerrad Hall
June 16, 2017 at 11:24 PM EDT
Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

John G. Avildsen’s famous leading men are remembering their “great” director, who died Friday in Los Angeles at age 81.

On social media, Sylvester Stallone and Ralph Macchio, among other celebrities, paid tribute to the Oscar-winning director of movies including Rocky, Karate Kid, 8 Seconds, and Lean on Me.

“The great director John G. Avildsen who won the Oscar for directing Rocky,” Stallone captioned a behind-the-scenes picture of them on set. “I’m sure you will soon be directing Hits in Heaven.”

“Your filmmaking legacy remains. #BeLove,” actor Carl Weathers, who portrayed Apollo Creed in four Rocky movies, shared on Twitter.

Calling Avildsen “my friend” along with a collage of photos, Macchio says the director “brought inspirational stories to us all and had a guiding hand in changing my life.”

See tributes from Stallone and Macchio, post other celebs, below.

The Directors Guild of America also honored Avildsen following the news of his death, releasing a statement which remembers 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.