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HUGH HUDSON DEAD: OSCAR-WINNING CHARIOTS OF FIRE DIRECTOR DIES AGED 86 AFTER SHORT ILLNESS

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Hugh Hudson dead: Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire director dies aged 86 after short illness 

Hugh Hudson's family made the heartbreaking announcement that the award-winning director had died aged 86 following a short illness. His first and most successful feature film was 1981's Chariot of Fire, with Hugh earning a nomination for Best Director, as well as taking home four Academy Awards.

Hugh Hudson dead: Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire director dies aged 86 after short illness
Hugh Hudson dead: Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire director dies aged 86 after short illness© GETTY

A statement released on behalf of his family by PA Media read: "Hugh Hudson, 86, beloved husband and father, died at Charing Cross Hospital on February 10 2023 after a short illness.

"He was best known for directing the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire. He is survived by his wife Maryam, his son Thomas and his first wife Sue."

Nigel Havers, who starred in Chariots Of Fire, has expressed his devastation, with the actor saying that he is "beyond devastated" to hear of the news.

Having known the film director for more than 45 years, Nigel described Hugh as a "great friend". 

Hugh Hudson is known for his directorial work on Chariots of Fire
Hugh Hudson is known for his directorial work on Chariots of Fire© GETTY
 
Hugh Hudson won critical-acclaim for Chariots of Fire
Hugh Hudson won critical-acclaim for Chariots of Fire© GETTY

Speaking to PA, Nigel said: "Chariots of Fire was one of the greatest experiences of my professional life, and, like so many others, I owe much of what followed to him.

He concluded: "I shall miss him greatly."

Hudson started his career making documentaries and TV adverts before turning to the big screen.

He is known for directing the 1981 hit Chariots of Fire, which scooped four Academy Awards and a Bafta award. 

Hugh Hudson is survived by his wife Maryam d'Abo
Hugh Hudson is survived by his wife Maryam d'Abo© GETTY
 
Hugh Hudson was last pictured in September last year
Hugh Hudson was last pictured in September last year© GETTY

His death follows that of Vangelis last May, who wrote the stirring theme tune, and Ben Cross, who died in 2020 having played British Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in the film.

The movie is ranked 19th in the British Film Institute's list of Top 100 British films.

Chariots of Fire told the story of two British track runners, one a devout Christian and the other an ambitious Jew in the run up to the 1924 Olympic Games.

The film is said to have revitalised the fading British film industry, winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

In 2017, some 37 years after its showing at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival, it was shown to a large audience at the Classic Screenings beach cinema to help support the bid for the 2024 Olympic Games to be held in Paris.

Hugh had rejected numerous projects before Chariots Of Fire, with his next production being 1984's The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.

The film scored four Oscar nominations and was Ralph Richardson's last screen performance, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

His other films included 1999's My Life So Far and 2000's I Dreamed of Africa.

He also worked on the stage adaptation of Chariots of Fire and directed an opera version of The Crucible.

His last credit was for co-writing the screenplay for the 2022 adventure The Tiger's Nest.

Hugh's first marriage was to painter Susan Michie in 1977, with the former couple having a son born in 1978.

In 2003, he married actress Maryam d'Abo, 62, who played Kara Milovy in 1987's The Living Daylights.

He was last pictured alongside his wife in September last year as the couple attended Christie's 60 Years of James Bond Auction.

Reference: Daily Express: Story by Hollie Beale •

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