Avatar,  Titanic producer Jon Landau dies at age 63

Titanic producer dies

LOS ANGELES: Jon Landau, the Oscar-winning producer behind the likes of Avatar, Titanic, and Alita: Battle Angel, has died. He passed away on Friday in Los Angeles after a 16 month long battle with cancer.

In a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Landau’s sister Tina confirmed her brother’s passing and shared the following: “The best brother a girl could ever dream of — my brother Jon — has passed away. My heart is broken but also bursting with pride and gratitude for his most extraordinary life, and the love and gifts he gave me — and all who knew him or his films.”

And it truly was an extraordinary life. Born in New York on 23 July, 1960 to film and TV producer parents Edythe and Ely Landau, whose credits include Sidney Lumet’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night and John Frankenheimer’s The Iceman Cometh, Jon Landau it seems was always destined to be in the movie business — Hollywood was in his blood.

In a heartfelt tribute posted on Avatar’s official Instagram, James Cameron hailed an “indomitable, caring, inclusive, tireless, insightful and utterly unique” man. “A part of myself has been torn away,” wrote Cameron of losing his “dear friend” and “closest collaborator”.

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Elsewhere, speaking to THR, Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio remembered an “incredibly kind, wise, and empathetic soul, who wanted to create nothing but a positive impact on anyone or anything approached.” It’s a sentiment echoed by Avatar’s Zoe Saldana, who took to Instagram to mourn the loss of someone whose “wisdom and support shaped so many of us in ways we will always be grateful for.”

Across social media, all over the news, and throughout the Hollywood trades, tributes to Jon Landau are legion and effusive in their praise of an industry icon who lived, breathed, and fiercely believed in the power and potential of cinema. With his movies — three of which feature in the top four highest grossing films ever made — having won more than a dozen Oscars and grossed cumulatively over $8 billion dollars at the box office, that Jon Landau was the ultimate Hollywood producer almost goes without saying. But that he was such a genuinely good man, such a passionate champion of the medium, and so instrumental in the lives and careers of so many over the years bears repeating, and speaks to the monumental legacy he leaves behind.

Jon Landau is survived by his wife Julie, their sons Jamie and Jodie, and his two sisters and brother. He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his friends, family, and loved ones at this time.

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