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Louis Zamperini Dead - Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken' Subject Dies at 97

Louis Zamperini Dead - Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken' Subject Dies at 97

Louis Zamperini, the World War II hero who is the inspiration for Angelina Jolie‘s upcoming movie Unbroken, has passed away at the age of 97.

“Having overcome insurmountable odds at every turn in his life, Olympic runner and World War II hero Louis Zamperini has never broken down from a challenge,” his family said in a statement (via THR). “He recently faced the greatest challenge of his life with a life-threatening case of pneumonia. After a 40-day long battle for his life, he peacefully passed away in the presence of his entire family, leaving behind a legacy that has touched so many lives. His indomitable courage and fighting spirit were never more apparent than in these last days.”

Angelina also released a statement, saying “It is a loss impossible to describe. We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him. We will miss him terribly.”

We send out our thoughts and condolences to Louis‘ family during this difficult time.

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Photos: Universal Pictures
Posted to: Angelina Jolie, Louis Zamperini

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234 Responses to “Louis Zamperini Dead - Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken' Subject Dies at 97”

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  1. 1
    JF Says:

    Can the trolls please have some respect for the life of this men?

    Without him and the millions who gave their lifes in WW II we probably wouldnt be here, using our ” FREEDOM”

    RIP Louis

  2. 2
    Marius Says:

    Its a pity that Louis Zamperini has passed a way. I read lots of articles about him, he was a great man…

  3. 3
    RIP Louis Says:

    Great man, amazing life.

  4. 4
    well Says:

    I’m crying, but Loius lived an amazing life. Read Laura’s book if you haven’t to get ready for the film. I was just reading the nice post from Six Years Ago about Brad, Z & Shi visiting Angie when she was on waiting for the twins to be born & thinking how cool it was that she watching the Ken Burns ww2 doc to pass time and now she has directed a ww2 film. Louis, Angie & Jack:
    http://angelina-place.com/picture/albums/userpics/10001/Angelina_Jolie_meet_Louis_Zamperini.jpg

  5. 5
    ?? Says:

    That’s very SAD NEWS

    RIP Louis Zamperini

  6. 6
    Tipi Says:

    Amazing man who led an mazing life. Just finished reading Unbroken. Happy he got to know the film of his story was made. RIP Louis zamperini

  7. 7
    valis202 Says:

    RIP Louis Zamperini.

  8. 8
    Phool. Says:

    Angelina Jolie reacts to passing of ‘Unbroken’ inspiration Louis Zamperini at age 97
    ===========================================================
    .

    Louis Zamperini is a hero, no question about it. From Olympian to POW, his story is one for the ages, one laid out on the page beautifully by author Laura Hillenbrand in the book “Unbroken” and adapted by filmmaker Angelina Jolie in a film that will be released later this year. But just six months shy of seeing that life story writ large on the big screen for movie fans the world over to learn about his struggle, Zamperini has passed away, having lived a long and full 97 years.

    Here is his family’s statement, conveyed by “Unbroken” distributor Universal Pictures:

    “Having overcome insurmountable odds at every turn in his life, Olympic runner and World War II hero Louis Zamperini has never broken down from a challenge. He recently faced the greatest challenge of his life with a life-threatening case of pneumonia. After a 40-day long battle for his life, he peacefully passed away in the presence of his entire family, leaving behind a legacy that has touched so many lives. His indomitable courage and fighting spirit were never more apparent than in these last days.”
    A statement from the studio:

    “We are so profoundly sad at this moment and all of our thoughts and prayers are with the Zamperini family. Louis was truly one of a kind. He lived the most remarkable life, not because of the many unbelievable incidents that marked his near century’s worth of years, but because of the spirit with which he faced every one of them. Confronting challenges that would cause most of us to surrender, Louie always persevered and always prevailed, and he spent the better part of his lifetime sharing the message that you could do the same. His example of grace, dignity and resilience inspired all of us lucky enough to know him and the millions who got to know him from the pages of Laura’s book. We move forward to the release of ‘Unbroken’ with a renewed sense of responsibility in bringing Louie’s abundant life and indomitable spirit to the screen. Now more than ever, we join Angelina in honoring the lessons and legacy of this extraordinary man who has meant so much to so many.”
    And from Jolie:

    “It is a loss impossible to describe. We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him. We will miss him terribly.”
    Here at In Contention, we look forward to covering the upcoming film and celebrating his life with Universal, Jolie and actor Jack O’Connell, who was tasked with the gargantuan duty of portraying Zamperini on screen.

    Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/angelina-jolie-universal-react-to-passing-of-unbroken-inspiration-louis-zamperini-at-age-97#EbOZeq9tWWVfL0os.99

  9. 9
    cee Says:

    Rest in peace Mr. Zamperini.

  10. 10
    Phool. Says:

    R.I.P. Louis Zamperini, Olympian War Hero Is Subject Of Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’
    ===================================

    .
    By THE DEADLINE TEAM | Thursday July 3, 2014 @ 1:27am
    .
    ., the World War II hero and former Olympic long distance runner, has died. The subject ofAngelina Jolie‘s upcoming sophomore directorial effort Unbroken, Zamperini was 97. Universal, which announced his passing this morning, had developed theUnbroken project for close to 55 years when it finally got off the ground withJolie signed to direct in December 2012. The script is based on Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience andRedemption, by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand. Zamperini was a Depression era kid who became a track prodigy and was the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic team that traveled to Berlin for the 1936 games.
    .
    He didn’t medal, but was so impressive that Hitler asked to meet him. The 1940 Olympics in Tokyo were cancelled due to the war, and in 1941, Zamperini enlisted in the Air Force. When his plane went down in the Pacific during a rescue mission, Zamperini and two other crew mates survived on a raft in the hot sun for 47 days. They were ultimately caught by the Japanese Navy, beginning a terrifying term of captivity that lasted until the end of the war in 1945.

    .
    Universal first bought Zamperini’s rights back in the 1950s. As Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr has written, “Few movies gestate as long as this one, but it’s clear from Hillenbrand’s remarkable book that it was wise to wait. Zamperini had a lot of work to do to make himself whole again after enduring an ordeal that would break even the strongest of men.” Universal screened very impressive footage ofUnbroken at Cine Europe in Barcelona two weeks ago, and at CinemaCon in March. The movie stars Jack O’Connell as the younger Zamperini along with Jai Courtney, Garrett Hedlund and Domhnall Gleeson. It’s due for release on December 25 this year. Shortly after that, Zamperini was to be the Grand Marshall at the 2015 Rose Parade in January.
    .
    A statement from Universal Pictures said, “We are so profoundly sad at this moment and all of our thoughts and prayers are with the Zamperini family. Louis was truly one of a kind. He lived the most remarkable life, not because of the many unbelievable incidents that marked his near century’s worth of years, but because of the spirit with which he faced every one of them.
    .
    Confronting challenges that would cause most of us to surrender, Louie always persevered and always prevailed, and he spent the better part of his lifetime sharing the message that you could do the same. His example of grace, dignity and resilience inspired all of us lucky enough to know him and the millions who got to know him from the pages of Laura’s book. We move forward to the release of Unbroken with a renewed sense of responsibility in bringing Louie’s abundant life and indomitable spirit to the screen.

    .
    Now more than ever, we join Angelina in honoring the lessons and legacy of this extraordinary man who has meant so much to so many.”
    .
    Jolie commented, “It is a loss impossible to describe. We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him. We will miss him terribly.”
    .
    The family said, “Having overcome insurmountable odds at every turn in his life, Olympic runner and World War II hero Louis Zamperini has never broken down from a challenge. He recently faced the greatest challenge of his life with a life-threatening case of pneumonia. After a 40-day long battle for his life, he peacefully passed away in the presence of his entire family, leaving behind a legacy that has touched so many lives. His indomitable courage and fighting spirit were never more apparent than in these last days.”
    .

    http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/louis-zamperini-dies-olympian-war-hero-unbroken-movie/

  11. 11
    BH Says:

    RIP Louis.

  12. 12
    bap Says:

    May God bless your family Louie.

  13. 13
    Love Conquers All Says:

    My thoughts and prayers goes to Louis Zamperini family and thank you to Mr. Zamperini for service to his nation and for sharing his inspiration for forgiveness. Right now I’m just so teared eye of reading the news. Louis will be hugely miss. RIP Louis Zamperini :(

  14. 14
    Ako si Gladys Says:

    Condolence to the family.
    RIP Mr. Louis Zamperini.

  15. 15
    BFF Says:

    So sad that he didn’t get to see the movie about his life. RIP

  16. 16
    Susan Says:

    Good morning J-P fans.
    RIP Louis Zamperini, sad time for his family and Dame Angie.q

  17. 17
    Rose Says:

    RIP MR ZAMPERINI. I so happy he knew his movie was in good hands before he passed over. Angelina must be very sad, at the same time feels blessed to have meth such a great man. That pneumonia is a killer when you get it at an older age.

  18. 18
    JF Says:

    Now more then ever we have a responsability to go to the theaters see Unbroken. I`ve read the book and I will be there in the first day.

  19. 19
    Phool. Says:

    Louis Zamperini Dies; War Hero Served as Inspiration for Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’
    =============================================
    .

    July 3, 2014 | 12:55AM PT
    .
    Dave McNary Film Reporter @Variety_DMcNary
    .
    Louis Zamperini, a World War II hero whose life is the subject of the upcoming film “Unbroken,” has died of pneumonia. He was 97.
    .
    Universal Pictures released statements early Thursday from the Zamperini family and Angelina Jolie, who directed the upcoming film. The movie is based on “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand.
    .
    Zamperini competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a distance runner and went on to fight in WWII as an Air Force bombardier and a POW after he survived a crash in shark-infested waters in the Pacific.
    .
    “Having overcome insurmountable odds at every turn in his life, Olympic runner and World War II hero Louis Zamperini has never broken down from a challenge,” the family said in a statement. “He recently faced the greatest challenge of his life with a life-threatening case of pneumonia. After a 40-day long battle for his life, he peacefully passed away in the presence of his entire family, leaving behind a legacy that has touched so many lives. His indomitable courage and fighting spirit were never more apparent than in these last days.”
    .
    Universal Pictures said in its statement: “We are so profoundly sad at this moment and all of our thoughts and prayers are with the Zamperini family. Louis was truly one of a kind. He lived the most remarkable life, not because of the many unbelievable incidents that marked his near century’s worth of years, but because of the spirit with which he faced every one of them.”
    .
    Universal is releasing “Unbroken” on Christmas Day.
    Jolie said in her statement: “It is a loss impossible to describe. We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him. We will miss him terribly.”

    .

    http://variety.com/2014/film/news/louis-zamperini-dies-war-hero-served-as-inspiration-for-angelina-jolies-unbroken-1201257608/

  20. 20
    cee Says:

    He seemed like an amazing person. I hope he got to see some of his movie. So sad. Wishing his family and Angie well. I thought she looked a little sad in the dinner pic and it appears he was very ill then. So glad the book is out in paperback and his movie comes out this year.

  21. 21
    Rose Says:

    @Susan: Good morning Susan. I was just scanning JJ and saw GC and his fiancee. Girl, his fans are not happy with his choice and to be honest, I don’t care one way or the other because I’m not a GC fan. However, you know when Angie nd Brad are together, he’s always leading the way and holding Angies hand, none of that connection is seen with GC and AA. anyway, I wish them well. It appears the wedding will be soon.

  22. 22
    Phool. Says:

    Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt blockbuster to be filmed at Mgarr ix-Xini
    ====================================================
    .
    Thursday, July 3, 2014, 10:16 by

    .
    Mgarr is-Xini will be closed for some days for the filming of an Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt blockbuster, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this morning.
    .
    He said the film will put Gozo on the map and it will be a very good advert for the island.
    .
    Dr Muscat said this was the first important blockbuster attracted to Malta by the current film commission.
    .
    Another film from China will also be filmed in Malta, he said. Dr Muscat was speaking during a business breakfast this morning.
    .

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140703/local/angelina-jolie-and-brad-pitt-blockbuster-to-be-filmed-at-mgarr-ix-xini.526135

  23. 23
    Phool. Says:

    Mgarr ix-Xini chosen for movie with Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt
    =================================
    .
    by Gozo News • July 3, 2014
    .

    During a business breakfast this morning, Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat said that Mgarr ix-Xini has been selected as the main location for a “blockbuster movie” with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
    .
    He added that it will be a very good advert and promotion for the island, and it will put Gozo on the map.
    .
    The Malta Film Commission, Dr Muscat said, has also agreed a film to be made in Malta by China.
    .
    The Prime Minister also announced that a Memorandum of Understanding is be signed with China next week,
    .
    “The MoU will function as a blueprint for investment for a five year period ending in 2019 and will cover many areas of the Maltese economy, The agreement will increase Malta’s exposure in the world,” Dr Muscat said.
    .
    The Individual Investor Programme was also discussed, which the Prime Minister said is, “proving to be very successful.”
    .
    .
    http://gozonews.com/51090/mgarr-ix-xini-chosen-for-movie-with-angelina-jolie-brad-pitt/

  24. 24
    Phool. Says:

    Scott Feinberg @ScottFeinberg • 2h
    Louis Zamperini arrives back in America at the end of World War II
    .
    https://twitter.com/ScottFeinberg/status/484618176198475776/photo/1

  25. 25
    Manis Says:

    Good morning JPs fans all around the world.
    RIP Louise Zamperini <3 Can't wait for "Unbroken"

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