Arthur Hiller, the director of Love Story, The Out-of-Towners, The In-Laws, The Hospital, among others, died Wednesday of natural causes, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced. Hiller, who served as the Academy president between 1993 and 1997, was 92.
Hiller is best known for directing 1970’s Love Story, the Oscar-nominated drama starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal. Filmed on a shoestring budget of $2 million, the film went on to gross over $106 million, or $659 million in today’s adjusted box office. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the success of Love Story, considered one of cinema’s greatest tearjerkers, allowed the struggling Paramount to take on projects like The Godfather and Chinatown.
“Arthur Hiller was an integral part of one of the most important experiences of my life,” MacGraw said in a statement. “He was a remarkable, gifted, generous human being, and I will miss him terribly.” Hiller was nominated for the Best Director Oscar for Love Story.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Hiller began his career working for Canadian television before moving to Los Angeles to work on NBC series like Gunsmoke, Naked City and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1957, Hiller directed The Careless Years, the first of over 30 films he would helm over a career that spanned nearly 50 years.
Over his career, Hiller would direct a pair of films by Oscar-winning playwright Paddy Chayefsky – 1964’s The Americanization of Emily and 1971’s The Hospital – as well as numerous scripts by Neil Simon, including 1970’s The Out-of-Towners, 1971’s Plaza Suite and 1984’s The Lonely Guy.
Other notable films from Hiller include the Babe Ruth biopic The Babe, the Al Pacino-starring Author! Author! and a pair of films that united Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, 1976’s Silver Streak and 1989’s See No Evil, Hear No Evil. Hiller’s final big screen credit was 2006’s National Lampoon’s Pucked starring Jon Bon Jovi.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved friend Arthur Hiller,” Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement to Variety. “I was a member of the Board during his presidency and fortunate enough to witness firsthand his dedication to the Academy and his lifelong passion for visual storytelling.”