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Hugh Hudson, Oscar-Nominated Director of ‘Chariots of Fire,’ Dead at 86

Hudson also helmed the Tarzan feature, ‘Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan’

Hugh Hudson, the Oscar-nominated director of the classic British film “Chariots of Fire,” has died. He was 86.

Hudson died after battling a short illness, according to The Guardian, which first reported the news Friday.

“Hugh Hudson, 86, beloved husband and father, died at Charing Cross hospital on 10 February after a short illness. He is survived by his wife Maryam, his son Thomas and his first wife Sue,” Hudson’s family said in a statement.

Hudson got his start in documentaries, and “Chariots of Fire” was technically his first narrative feature film, which would go on to win the Oscar for Best Picture and become one of the most celebrated British films ever made. Although nominated for best director, Hudson would lose to Warren Beatty, who won for “Reds.”

“Chariots of Fire” was nominated for seven Oscars and would end up collecting four, alongside three Bafta statuettes. The British Film Institute in 1999 placed “Chariots of Fire” in the 19th spot on its list of the greatest British movies in history.

The famous “Chariots of Fire” theme, composed by the late Vangelis who passed away last year, was played during medal presentations at the 2012 London Olympics (it wasalso parodied during the Games’ opening ceremony by Rowan Atkinson – as his comedic persona Mr. Bean, who is tasked with playing the single, repeating synthesizer note that runs underneath).

Hudson also directed the Tarzan feature “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan.” Other credits include 1985’s “Revolution” which starred Al Pacino, 1989’s “Lost Angels” and 2000’s “I Dreamed of Africa.”