Oscar-winning director Michael Cimino dies aged 77

Michael Cimino, who received an Oscar for his critically acclaimed film The Deer Hunter has died aged 77. Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux announced the news on Twitter, and friends and admirers of the director have taken to social media to pay their respects.

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Thierry wrote: "Michael Cimino died peacefully, surrounded by his family and the two women who loved him. We loved him too."


Michael has passed away aged 77

The director, who was also well known for Heaven's Gate, was found when friends called the police after they were unable to get hold of him and died on Saturday.

Robert De Niro, who starred in the film that won Michael the Best Director Academy Award, was among those to pay tribute to the director. In a statement, he said: "Our work together is something I will always remember. He will be missed."

The French Connection film director William Friedkin tweeted: "I wish I had paid tribute to Michael Cimino while he was alive. He was an important and masterful film maker. We will always have his work," while television historian Greg Jenner wrote: "Oh no, #MichaelCimino has died too. The Deer Hunter is one of the great American films. And Heaven's Gate is legendary for other reasons."

Michael won an Oscar for The Deer Hunter

The notoriously private film maker directed eight films throughout his career and ended up as a recluse, rarely appearing in public. His last interview took place in 2015, 13 years after his previous one. 

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the director spoke about filmmaking and his friendship with Clint Eastwood, saying: "he's remained my friend for over 40 years. He's responsible for my career. I wouldn't even be talking to you were it not for Clint."

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