Hugh Hudson, best known for directing the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire (1981) died after a short illness on Friday at a London hospital, his family confirmed. The director was 86 years old.

“Hugh Hudson, 86, beloved husband and father, died at Charing Cross hospital on 10 February after a short illness,” the family said in a statement. The details about his illness were not made public by them.

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Who was Hugh Hudson?

Hugh Hudson was born at 27 Welbeck Street, London, on August 25, 1936. He was the only Michael Donaldson-Hudosn and his second wife Jacynth mary Ellerton. His parental ancestors are from Scotland and Cumberland.

Hudson was educated at Eton college and went on to serve in the army before venturing into films. He was with the national Service in the Dragon Guards from 1956 to 1960. He rose through the ranks to become a lieutenant before he was discharged.

In the 1960s, Hudson co-founded a documentary film firm with partners Robert Brownjohn and David Cammell after spending three years editing documentaries in Paris. The business produced a number of documentaries, including The Tortoise and the Hare, a BAFTA Award nominee, and A for Apple, which received a Screenwriters’ Guild Award.

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Chariots of Fire (1981), the story of two British track runners—one a devout Christian and the other an aspirational Jew—in the lead-up to the 1924 Olympic Games, was directed by Hudson between 1979 and 1980. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and is credited with reviving the ailing British film industry.

Hudson was the director of the American War of Independence movie Revolution, which was released in 1985 but wasn’t yet finished. The movie bombed both critically and financially, earning Hudson a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Director.

Susan Michie, a painter, and Hudson tied the knot on August 25, 1977. He married Maryam d’Abo, who portrayed Kara Milovy in The Living Daylights (1987), in November 2003.