John G. Avildsen

John G. Avildsen

  • Highest Rated: 93% Rocky (1976)
  • Lowest Rated: 0% Desert Heat (1999)
  • Birthday: Dec 21, 1935
  • Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, USA
  • Director John G. Avildsen's career endured many ups and downs. Not only did he produced a string of bombs, and low-budget films, the self-described dreamer also produced some of the most popular films of our time--most notably the triple Oscar winning Rocky(1976) and the thematically similar Karate Kid (1984). The son of a Chicago tool manufacturer, Avildsen worked as a copywriter at an ad agency; he then served as a chaplain's assistant in the military before coming to Hollywood in the early 60s where he first worked as a production manager, assistant director, and cinematographer before directing his first films--best forgotten according to some critics--in the late '60s. His first hit was the low-budget (he filmed it himself) sleeper Joe (1970), which told the tale of a bigoted construction worker and made a star of Peter Boyle. After the smashing success of Rocky the director did not have another major commercial hit until The Karate Kid, even though some of his films featured popular stars such as Burt Reynolds, W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings, Marlon Brando, The Formula, and John Belushi (in his last film), Neighbors. He followed The Karate Kid with 3 sequels. In 1989 he created the fine drama Lean on Me, which showcased the talents of the charismatic Morgan Freeman. Avildsen died in 2017, at age 81.

Highest Rated Movies








No Score Yet John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs Actor 2017
No Score Yet The Real Miyagi Actor 2015
No Score Yet Make Your Own Damn Movie Actor 2005
77% A Decade Under the Influence Actor 2003
0% Desert Heat Director 1999
31% 8 Seconds Director 1994
39% The Power of One Director 1992
29% Rocky V Director 1990
15% The Karate Kid, Part III Director 1989
69% Lean on Me Director Executive Producer 1989
18% For Keeps Director 1988
No Score Yet Happy New Year Director 1987
42% The Karate Kid Part II Director 1986
88% The Karate Kid Director 1984
No Score Yet A Night in Heaven Director 1983
63% Neighbors Director 1981
30% The Formula Director 1980
No Score Yet Slow Dancing in the Big City Director Producer 1979
93% Rocky Director 1976
No Score Yet W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings Director 1975
No Score Yet Fore Play (The President's Women) Director 1975
No Score Yet Foreplay Director 1975
83% Save the Tiger Director 1973
No Score Yet Cry Uncle Director 1971
80% Joe Director 1970
No Score Yet Guess What We Learned in School Today? Director Screenwriter 1970


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