“Brilliant storyteller”
Director Norman Jewison is dead

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The comedy “Moonstruck” with Cher in the lead role is one of his greatest Hollywood successes. But director Norman Jewison also made award-winning dramas, thrillers and musicals. The Canadian has now died at the age of 97.

Canadian film director and producer Norman Jewison is dead. He died on Saturday at the age of 97, his agent announced. The director of “In the Heat of the Night” was nominated three times for the Oscar for best director, among other things. Jewison has worked with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, including Steve McQueen, Denzel Washington, Sidney Poitier and Cher.

Born in 1926, Jewison also made films such as “The Cincinnati Kid” and “Thomas Crown is Unfathomable.” In the 70s the productions “Anatevka”, “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Rollerball” were created. In the 1990s, Jewison directed and produced the film “Bogus” starring Whoopi Goldberg and the film “Hurricane” starring Denzel Washington.

Jewison started his career in television but moved to Hollywood in the early 1960s. There he teamed up with Tony Curtis for the comedy “A Backpack Full of Trouble.” Two films with Doris Day followed. In 1966 he received a prize for the comedy “The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!” an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

The feature film “In the Heat of the Night,” in which Oscar winner Rod Steiger starred opposite Poitier in the role of a racist southern sheriff, established him as a filmmaker. The film won an Oscar for Best Picture and was nominated for Best Director. In 1987, Jewison scored a box office and critical success with Moonstruck, starring Olympia Dukakis and Cher, who won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role. The film also marked the breakthrough for Nicolas Cage.

In total, Jewison's films received 46 Oscar nominations and won twelve awards. The Canadian Film Centre, an organization founded by Jewison in 1988, called the late director a “brilliant storyteller.” Singer Cher thanked online networks for “Moonstruck” for “one of the greatest, happiest and funniest experiences of my life”.

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