Norman Jewison, an icon of directing (“Fiddler on the Roof,” “In the Heat of the Night”), has passed away

Norman Jewison, the legendary Canadian film director, producer, and screenwriter, has passed away. The director of “Fiddler on the Roof,” “In the Heat of the Night,” and “Moonstruck” was 97 years old. His impressive career spanned over four decades.

Who was Norman Jewison?

Norman Jewison was born on July 21, 1926, in Toronto. Since childhood, he was interested in the world of theater and cinema, although he initially wanted to be an actor. He gained his initial experience in Canadian television after the war and, under a three-year contract, moved on to CBS. The real breakthrough in his life, however, came with his directorial debut – the comedy “40 Pounds of Trouble” with Tony Curtis in the lead role in 1962.

Further successes came in the 1960s. They were crowned by a triple triumph – the films “The Russians Are Coming” (1966), “In the Heat of the Night” (1967), and “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968) not only gained recognition among audiences and critics but also received numerous Oscar and Golden Globe nominations – some of which turned into awards.

In total, his films won 12 Academy Awards and received 45 nominations. The director of “Fiddler on the Roof” (trailer above) also had Golden Globes, Emmy Awards, awards at the Berlin Film Festival, and other prestigious honors. In 1999, he was honored with a special “Oscar,” the Irving G. Thalberg Award for his outstanding contributions to filmmaking.

Norman Jewison’s most important films

Jewison’s most famous film remains “Fiddler on the Roof” from 1971. The saga of the milkman Tevye won three Oscars and eight Academy Award nominations. “In the Heat of the Night,” with the iconic role of Sidney Poitier as the unyielding detective Virgil Tibbs, won five Oscars. The director’s repertoire also includes productions such as “Moonstruck,” acclaimed as the best film of 1988 (with an Oscar-winning performance by Cher), the romantic comedy “Only You” (1994) starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr., one of the most interesting sci-fi films of the 70s, “Rollerball” (1975), the cult musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” (1972), and the courtroom drama “…And Justice for All” (1979) with Al Pacino.

Jewison remained professionally active until 2003. It was then that his last film was made – the thriller about the war criminal Pierre Brossard, “The Statement,” starring Michael Caine.

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