(LOS ANGELES) — Michael Cimino, who won the best-director Oscar for the 1978 film The Deer Hunter and helmed the flop Heaven’s Gate a couple of years later, has died.
He was found dead Saturday at his Los Angeles home, his friend and former lawyer Eric Weissmann tells The New York Times. He was found by police after friends were unable to reach him by phone, according to Weissman.
A cause of death has not yet been determined. Cimino was 77.
The Deer Hunter, which focused on the impact of the Vietnam War on a small town in Pennsylvania, starred Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and Christopher Walken. It received nine Oscar nominations and won five trophies, including best picture, best director for Cimino, and best supporting actor for Walken.
Cimino’s follow-up, Heaven’s Gate, a Western featuring Walken and Kris Kristofferson, was a disappointment both with critics and at the box office, best remembered for its big budget and lengthy run time.
His other credits included his directorial debut, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot; Year of the Dragon; The Sicilian; Desperate Hours; and The Sunchaser.
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