Norman Jewison Dies at 97: Canada Lost a Legend 

Norman Jewison, the versatile Canadian-born director celebrated for his impactful contributions to Hollywood, passed away at the age of 97. 

Norman Jewison
Norman Jewison | Wikipedia 

Known for an array of films ranging from comedies with Doris Day to socially significant works like “In the Heat of the Night,” Jewison left an indelible mark on cinema.

His career spanned diverse genres, showcasing his ability to seamlessly navigate between light entertainment and socially relevant themes. His cinematic journey, marked by three Oscar nominations and a lifetime achievement Academy Award in 1999, reflected his commitment to addressing racism and injustice.

Jewison’s personal experiences during a hitchhiking journey through the American South after World War II deeply influenced his filmmaking. Racism and injustice became recurring themes in his work, with a focus on exploring prejudice and fostering an understanding of good and evil. The 1967 film “In the Heat of the Night” tackled racial tensions, earning critical acclaim and winning the Academy Award for Best Picture.

During the making of “In the Heat of the Night,” Jewison received encouragement from Robert F. Kennedy, emphasizing the film’s theme of tolerance. Kennedy’s words on the significance of timing resonated with Jewison, influencing his perspective on the role of art and politics in addressing societal issues.

Filmography Highlights

Jewison’s filmography includes iconic works like “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Moonstruck,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” and collaborations with Denzel Washington in “A Soldier’s Story” and “The Hurricane.” His films received multiple Oscar nominations, and Jewison remained an influential figure in the film industry.

Personal Life and Legacy

Married to Margaret Ann Dixon for 51 years until her passing in 2004, Jewison married Lynne St. David in 2010. He remained closely tied to Canada, where he founded the Canadian Film Centre in 1988. Beyond filmmaking, Jewison lived on a farm near Toronto, embracing a rural lifestyle of horse-raising and maple syrup production.

A Legacy to Cherish

Norman Jewison’s legacy extends beyond his cinematic achievements. He played a pivotal role in shaping conversations around social issues through the lens of film. While he acknowledged his desire for acceptance within the cinematic establishment, Jewison’s lasting impact is undeniable, leaving an enduring mark on the world of cinema.

Source: CTV News 

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