British film director John Schlesinger has died after being taken off life support at a hospital in Palm Springs, California on Thursday.
Schlesinger suffered a stroke in December 2000 and underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery two years beforehand.
Schlesinger's last film was the 2000 comedy The Next Best Thing starring Madonna and Rupert Everett, but 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 direction and best adapted screenplay.
Thank you for your tributes to John Schlesinger. Read a selection of your comments below.
I worked with John Schlesinger just once and had the good fortune to become a friend. He was one of the most charming, generous and hilarious people I ever knew. On top of that he was an authentically brilliant film-maker. He will be greatly missed.
A great director who was not too big to sign an autograph for our charity. Thanks John.
Shelley Moore, UK
We'll all miss Schlesinger's combination of serious, popular and always entertaining film-making that only a small elite of directors are now capable of. He could show the dark underside of social life beneath the venere of modernity. This ran through every film he made, as though he were trying to show a 'secret' to us all. He gave us a definite classic thriller (Marathon Man) and a great political one (The Falcon & the Snowman). John was meticulous and decisive in his storytelling. Underrated in recent years, his cold eye combined with sensitivity gave an unusual depth to cinema. His passing is a shock, because I felt there was still something special to come. But he leaves something solid and enduring to look back at. Condolences to his partner and family.
Tom Fox, Namibia
I've enjoyed many of his films and feel that this is a very sad passing. Far from the Madding Crowd, Marathon Man and Darling are classics. I hope the BBC show a season of his films in tribute. Midnight Cowboy remains one of the greatest films of all time.
Mr. Schlesinger was a bold and visionary innovator whose films helped define their time. His intelligence informed and shaped all of his films, and his great sensitivity to actors brought out some truly unforgettable performances from the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Julie Christie and Peter Finch, among many others. Where are the filmmakers of today who can replace such greats? I wish I knew!
Andy Barrett, USA
I did not realise "Far from the Madding Crowd" was directed by Schlesinger until i read these tributes. Yes John made an impression on me then a teenage boy. I have always admired his professionalism in bringing out the best to give the audience abit of himself. God bless you John.
There is an alarming tendency in our culture to judge artists by their most recent works. While John Schlesinger would have probably been the first to admit that a few of his recent films were unremarkable (Cold Comfort Farm is not one of those)...Billy Liar, Darling, far From The Madding Crowd, Midnight Cowboy, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Marathon, Day of The Locust, An Englishman Abroad...are the kind of films that will continue to grip the imagination with their beauty, honesty, profound, as opposed to contrived, entertainment value, and artistry. His work will endure.
Lee Hill, United Kingdom
It's funny how certain names stay in your memory becasue of the excellence with which you associate them. John Schlesinger's is one of them, and his name will live depsite his death, because of his incredible talent
Dan James, UK
John, your films were so much better than the formulated, Hollywood nonsense. You are a man of great creative vision and we will miss you.
Chris Preston, Canada
I am so sorry that one of the best director in world is die we loved him in iran with marathon man film and i hope god bless him and he beside the god.
Genius and visionary he captured the mood of a generation.
and sadly overlooked when it was without doubt he was at the pinnacle of achievement.he inspired many to follow his path.
Thank you John Schlesinger for being courageous to make Sunday Bloody Sunday, a film about homosexuality and bisexuality, which made me realise that I was not alone.
Bless you John Schlesinger. You were a great talent and a real gentleman... Midnight cowboy was an astounding look at the underbelly of American life through the eyes of a great British director.. Thank you.
Vanessa Greene, usa
His films moved me greatly, he was a genius in working with actors, creating a mood and real sense of the time he shot in, whether it was the 60's, 70's...whenever...he made the time and the characters come off the screen with great vibrancy. I am astonished by how great his work was.
Jane Spencer, USA
Not only were John Schlesinger a brilliant director, he was also capable of selecting some of the best sound tracks. Who will ever forget "Everybody's Talkin'" from Midnight Cowboy or Bowie's "This is not America" from The Falcon and the Snowman? Mr. Schlesinger will sure be missed.
I am a great fan of John. He was a great specially in creating some new dimension in the film world. My deep condolence to his dear and near ones. May God be pleased to allow peace on his departed soul. Wahed
M A Wahed, Bangladesh
He was a great man who will be missed. I just loved his movie The Next Best Thing. May he rest in peace.
Nick Holzer, United States
A brave director of unquestionable talent. Midnight Cowboy was the first and only X rated film to be awarded the best picture Oscar, also winning him best director - a film amongst other things about America, that rings so true you would think an American had directed it - there is no greater accolade than that. Its place and his place among the film greats is assured.
May God bless you!
I never forget you and your abilities.
"Far from the Madding Crowd" was one of my O level books and we were shown the film at school - a rarity and one of the few positive school memories I have. Yanks was the first movie I saw when I moved from the midlands to London. Since those times whenever I have seen John Schlesinger credited as director I have known that I'll be in for a good movie experience!
sarah , UK
He was at my family's dinner table on the Queen Mary in 1965 just after the New York opening of "Darling" when my father collapsed at the table. Mr.Schlesinger was very helpful in getting aid. We met again in 1969 on the new QE2, and he asked about my father--a kind man and a true gentleman!
Apart from his illustrious career as a director of feature films,John Schlesinger also made small scale films of distinction.one of my favourites is 'Terminus' which,in a very atmospheric way using individual incidents and the jazz music of john dankworth,tells the story of a day in the life of waterloo station in the early sixties at the end of the steam era.it is a masterpiece of small film making which deservedly won international awards.those type of films celebrating the ordinary aspects of british life in an entertaining and thought provoking way are simply not made today - something i greatly regret.
patrick cooper, england
It was unfortunate hear the news of his death, it shocked us in uganda. may his soul rest in peace
kansiime justus, uganda east africa
I remember the impact his beautifully shot 1967 Thomas Hardy adaptation, Far From The Madding Crowd had on me at the time, and my resulting love of film stems from this. Thank you John Schlesinger. Rest in peace.
Ian Lambert, Uk, Nottingham
I had the great pleasure of meeting John while he was working on the TV film The Lost Language of Cranes in London. He was extremely kind and generous and took time out to chat to me about my own career and his films. For me, his greatest work was the incomparable An Englishman Abroad, the true story of the encounter in Moscow between Coral Browne and Guy Burgess. Brilliantly scripted by Alan Bennett and superbly performed by Ms Browne and Alan Bates, Schlesinger deserved all of the accolades that were heaped on the production. He will be missed.
Only ever saw one of his films, "Marathon Man". That was good enough for me. He had a great talent and it's a sad loss for the movie industry, but it's even more sad for his family and friends. My condolances to them.
A lasting legacy of films left behind by one of the world's most eclectic 'auteurs'. He was the Howard Hawks of the British film industry and on a personal note encapsulated the spirit of Bradfordians trying to escape their humdrum lives (as I did) in Billy Liar; arguably the finest film from the 60s 'Hollywood UK' .
Garry Clarkson, photojournalist and film lecturer, UK
John Schlesinger was in my opinion Britain's best ever director. The emotional power of Midnight Cowboy is undiminished even after such a long time. It has the eternal ring of truth about it. God bless you, John.
What a great loss... here was a director who triumphed with his British kitchen sink dramas, then did a stunning cultural about-face with Midnight Cowboy. I'm only sorry goodbye to the film world was that truly terrible Madonna film.
His film Midnight Cowboy was one of those that touch me the most. I remembered Dustin Hoffman and John Voight. The friendship and everything. I will miss his talent.
Manuel Padilla Flores, Mexico
A truly talented filmmaker who's work always seemed to hit the spot on multiple levels.
It is a rare thing for a director to be able to instil so much fear and dread into a film from a single line of dialogue:
"Is it safe?"
Is it safe?
Is it safe?
God bless you. Now you are safe.
He consistently gave us films of heartfelt worth, craft and thoughtfulness. My sincerest condolences to John Schlesinger's family, friends and colleagues.
It was my privilege to know John having worked for him twice on The Falcon and the Snowman and Eye for an Eye in his film editorial department. He was one of the most kind and civilised people I had the pleasure of working with. I know he will be sadly missed.
Michael Trent, US
Like Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman told us something different of America - sometimes the American dream is sad but in spite of that we love that country the music the colours, the sunsets, New York city, the Italian Dustin, we love that movie. I have that movie in DVD and I like to watch and listen in English.
The only comfort in the passing of a respected film figure, such as Schlesinger, is that his works will be rediscovered and reappraised. Hopefully BBC2 will show a season of his films - I'd love to see Billy Liar again. Marathon Man and Midnight Cowboy are classics of the post-counter culture period. Of course, the most tragic thing of all is that his last film was The Next Best Thing! Oh well, God bless you Mr Schlesinger.
David Valentine, England