Chariots Of Fire director Hugh Hudson dies at age 86 after short illness

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Hugh Hudson, best known for the Academy Award-winning film Chariots Of Fire, has died at the age of 86, a statement on behalf of his family said.

The filmmaker, who was behind the 1981 drama about story of two British runners in the 1920s, died in a hospital in London on Friday following a short illness.

The movie, which was Hudson’s big-screen debut, scooped best picture, original score, writing and costume design at the 54th annual Academy Awards in 1982.

A statement on behalf of his family said: “Hugh Hudson, 86, beloved husband and father, died at Charing Cross Hospital on February 10 2023, after a short illness.

The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including a best director nod for Hudson, and won four.

According to the British Film Institute (BFI), it became “one of the decade’s most controversial British films” due to its perception as a “radical indictment of establishment snobbery”.

Chariots Of Fire is number 19 on the BFI’s Top 100 British Films.

News of Hudson’s death comes just less than nine months after the death of the film’s composer, Vangelis.

The Greece-born electronic composer, who took home the Oscar for best original score in 1982, died in May last year in a French hospital.

After Chariots Of Fire, Hudson directed several other films starring high-profile actors, including Al Pacino, Colin Firth and Kim Basinger.

“With this slim, intriguing body of films, Hudson could be seen as one of British cinema’s most talented, tantalising underachievers,” the BFI said.

Hudson is survived by his wife, former James Bond actress Maryam D’Abo who starred in The Living Daylights, and his son Thomas.

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