Movies

Empire… director Kershner expires

MUMBAI: Veteran filmmaker Irvin Kershner, who directed The Empire Strikes Back expired Saturday last at the age of 87. He had waged a 3 1/2-year battle with lung cancer.


Kershner had already made several well-received films when Lucas tapped him to direct Empire. George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars said he didn‘t want to direct the sequel himself. "I needed someone I could trust, someone I really admired and whose work had maturity and humor. That was Kersh all over," Lucas said in a statement. 


The Philadelphia-born Kershner studied music, painting and photography before turning to film. He attended the University of Southern California film school and in the 1950s made U.S. government documentaries in Greece, Iran and Turkey.


He was a director and cameraman for a television documentary series called Confidential File in Los Angeles before getting his first movie break in 1958 when Roger Corman helped finance his first feature, Stakeout on Dope Street that Kershner wrote and produced with colleague Andrew Fenady and Hollywood publicist Dick Guttman.
 

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