Tributes pouring in for John Schlesinger

July 26, 2003 at 6:37 PM

PALM SPRINGS, Calif., July 26 (UPI) -- Tributes are pouring in for Oscar-winning director John Schlesinger, who died at a Palm Springs hospital at age 77.

Schlesinger suffered a stroke in December 2000 and his condition had worsened in recent weeks, the BBC said. He was taken off life support Thursday and died Friday.

His last film was "The Next Best Thing," with Madonna and Rupert Everett, but he was best known for "Midnight Cowboy," which starred Dustin Hoffman and John Voight.

"Shakespeare said it best in Hamlet, 'We will never see the likes of him again,'" Hoffman said of the director.

Richard Gere, who acted in Shlesinger's "Yanks," praised the director as "audacious, challenging, irascible, witty, wise and deeply personal."

Sally Field said he was "a groundbreaking director and wonderful man."

Schlesinger's other films included "Billy Liar," "Darling," "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "Marathon Man," "Pacific Heights" and "Cold Comfort Farm."

Funeral arrangements were pending.

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