Wednesday 28 September 2016

Tributes to The Towering Inferno's 'passionate' film director John Guillermin

Published 01/10/2015 | 12:15

John Guillermin made many hit movies during his time in Hollywood
John Guillermin made many hit movies during his time in Hollywood

British director John Guillermin, whose films include The Towering Inferno, has died aged 89.

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His friend, Nick Redman, posted a message from Guillermin's widow Mary, on a Facebook page for his business, Twilight Time DVD Label.

The message said: "Hello FB friends, I have been trying to make individual calls to people I care about, but it is proving hard. Please know that my dear husband, John Guillermin, director, died suddenly on Sunday September 28, just a few weeks short of his 90th birthday.

"John is here at home till his burial this coming Friday. Those people who admired his work, but may not have known him or me personally, are welcome to come to our home in Topanga to bid farewell to a talented director who produced a large body of films stretching over 40 years. His talent shone through most fiercely in Rapture re-released in 2011 by Twilight Time."

She ended the message writing: "Sadly but proudly, I am Mary Guillermin, widow of a wonderful man - sensitive and passionate, full of a fierce rapture himself."

Guillermin's 1974 hit, The Towering Inferno, boasted an impressive cast of Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden and Faye Dunaway.

It also went on to win three Oscars, a Bafta and two Golden Globes. In 1980 he also won the Evening Standard British Film Award for Death On The Nile.

His other body of work included 1976's King Kong, The Blue Max, Sheena and 1965's Rapture.

Guillermin was born in London and went on to study at the University of Cambridge. He moved to Hollywood in 1950 to pursue a career in movies, and made his first movie, I Was Monty's Double, in 1958.

He is survived by widow Mary and a daughter.

A message posted on Twilight Time's Facebook page read: " I had got to know him a bit in recent years when we released his lost gem Rapture on Blu-Ray. He was, even in his 80s, an irrepressible life-force, funny, cantankerous, profane, sophisticated, urbane.

"A gentleman of the old school, a pilot in the RAF during WWII, and later an eloquent filmmaker of taste and judgment - his movies speak for themselves, and also for him - for he is there, living inside them, his personality tumbling out in every reel.

"Farewell, sir, you were one of a kind - and your like will not ever come again. John Guillermin - 1925-2015."

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