Filmmaker Albert Pyun died Saturday in Las Vegas at the age of 69, reports Variety. The news was confirmed by his wife and producer Cynthia Curnan on Facebook, and comes years after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and dementia.
“I sat with him for his last breath. I sat with him for his last breath which felt like he was releasing the weight of the world,” reads Curnan’s post.
Born on May 19, 1953, Pyun got his start in the industry working at various production houses in Honolulu, Hawaii, then as an intern in Japan for a television series starring Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune. After years as a commercial film editor in Hawaii, he moved to Los Angeles to become a full-time director. His first feature film, 1982 The Sword and the Sorcerer, garnered a strong cult following after its successful theatrical release and remains its highest-grossing film.
Throughout his career, Pyun became known both for his collaboration with 80s and 90s action movie stars such as Jean-Claude Van Damme and Christopher Lambert, and for his fast production times. . During the 90s, he directed 22 films, including the second and fourth Kickboxer movies, 1992 Nemesis and its three suites, and the 1990 Captain America film. A lot of his films from the 90s, like Captain America, were produced by The Cannon Group.
But from the 2000s, Pyun will self-finance his films. His production has slowed considerably over the past two decades, with only five films in the 2000s and four in the 2010s. It was in 2013 that he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but his condition had improved. upgraded in 2014 until he could lead The interrogation of Cheryl Cooper and 2017 Interstellar Civil War.
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