Canadian film director Arthur Hiller, whose sentimental “Love Story” is one of the most popular romantic movies ever made, has died at the age of 92.
LOS ANGELES AND BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (REUTERS / UNRESTRICTED POOL / AUDIO NEWTWORKS) – Versatile and prolific Canadian film director Arthur Hiller, whose sentimental “Love Story” starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal was the biggest hit of 1970 and stands as one of the most popular romantic movies ever made, died on Wednesday at the age of 92, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences said. Hiller, whose work also included successful collaborations with playwrights Neil Simon and Paddy Chayefsky, died of natural causes in Los Angeles, the Academy said in a statement. The director was the president of the Academy, which hosts Hollywood’s annual Oscars ceremony, from 1993 to 1997, and served as a longtime member on the organization’s Directors Branch. Hiller directed more than 30 films from 1957 through 2006 covering a range of genres including comedies, dramas, tearjerkers, war stories, satires and musicals. He guided five different actors – O’Neal, MacGraw, George C. Scott, Maximilian Schell and John Marley – to Oscar-nominated performances. His films were nominated for 15 Academy Awards, winning two. “Love Story,” Hiller’s biggest success, was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture and Hiller as best director. It won only one Oscar, for best original score, as “Patton,” starring Scott, swept the top awards. “Love Story” was a tale of ill-fated lovers – privileged Oliver (O’Neal) and working-class Jennifer (MacGraw). It featured one of the most famous movie lines of the 1970s: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” The film was a colossal hit, generating more than $100 million at the box office. When Hiller received a special humanitarian award at the Academy Awards ceremony in March 2002, it was MacGraw and O’Neal who presented it.