Director Schlesinger dies

July 25, 2003 at 1:12 PM

PALM SPRINGS, Calif., July 25 (UPI) -- Oscar-winning director John Schlesinger died Friday at a hospital in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 77.

He was taken off life support Thursday at the Desert Regional Medical Center, where his condition had been deteriorating over recent weeks.

The film-maker directed movies for more than four decades, including the acclaimed "Midnight Cowboy."

He suffered a stroke in December 2000. Two years earlier, he underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery.

Schlesinger's last film was the 2000 comedy, "The Next Best Thing," starring Madonna and Rupert Everett.

His most celebrated work is "Midnight Cowboy," with Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. It received seven Oscar nominations and won three, for best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay.

His other well-known and Oscar nominated movies include "Darling," starring Julie Christie, "Billy Liar" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday."

"Marathon Man," with Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman, has become known as one of Schlesinger's most gripping works.

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