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World mourns as producer of popular movies, Titanic, Avatar, dies at 63

Oscar-winning producer Jon Landau, known for the films Titanic and Avatar, has died at the age of 63.

Landau died on Friday after battling cancer for over a year. He was the son of film producers Ely and Edie Landau, and his partnership with James Cameron on three of history’s most successful blockbusters earned him three Oscar nominations and a Best Picture win for the 1997 film Titanic.

His sister Tina Landau, a writer and teacher, confirmed his death on X (formerly Twitter), saying, “The best brother a girl could ever dream of- my brother Jon – has passed away. My heart is broken but also bursting with pride & gratitude for his most extraordinary life, and the love and gifts he gave me – and all who knew him or his films.”

On her Facebook page, she said her brother “passed away, peacefully and surrounded by our family, after a long and wildly courageous fight against cancer”.

“Our hearts are broken but also bursting with love, pride, and gratitude for this most spectacular being, the gifts he gave to us and the world, and the supremely exemplary life he lived,” she added.

She promised to write more about him in the coming days.

 

 

 

After the 1997 hit Titanic, Landau and Cameron also collaborated on films Avatar and its sequel Avatar: The Way of Water, which were released in 2009 and 2022 respectively, and went on to break Titanic’s record.

Additionally, Landau co-produced beloved films like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Dick Tracy, and held a key role at Lightstorm Entertainment, Cameron’s production company. Following Landau’s passing, Cameron paid tribute, telling The Hollywood Reporter that “a great producer and a great human being has left us”.

Actress, Kate Winslet who starred in James Cameron’s Titanic and 2022’s Avatar: The Way of Water, said Landau was a man “who was rich with compassion and exceptional at supporting and nurturing teams of phenomenal creative people.”

“He was always full of smiles and gratitude. I can’t believe I am writing this, can’t believe he is gone,” she added.

Actress Zoe Saldaña, who starred in the Avatar films, wrote a message to Landau on Instagram, saying, “Words are hard to put together right now, your passing is hitting really hard. You are leaving us too soon, my thoughts are with you and your family right now.

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Written by Olusesan Oba

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