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John Landau, Oscar-winning producer of ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’, dies at 63

John Landau, Oscar-winning producer of ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’, dies at 63

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John Landau, the Oscar-winning producer of “Titanic,” “Avatar” and “The Way of Water,” has died at the age of 63.

Disney Entertainment Chairman Alan Bergman confirmed Lando’s death, calling him a “visionary.”

“John was a visionary whose extraordinary talent and passion brought some of the most unforgettable stories to life on the big screen,” Bergman said of Lando. “His incredible contributions to the film industry have left an indelible mark, and he will be sorely missed. He was a creative and successful producer, but he was also an even better person, a true force of nature who inspired everyone around him.”

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John Landau with James Cameron at the 1998 Academy Awards. (Bob Reha Jr./Getty Images)

Lando began his career in Hollywood in the 1980s, working first as a production manager and then as an associate producer on classic films such as 1989’s “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” and 1990’s “Dick Tracy.”

He eventually became a close collaborator with Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron, and joined his production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, as an executive.

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“I can’t act, I can’t write, I can’t do visual effects, so I guess that’s why I produce,” Lando joked alongside Cameron during their acceptance speech when “Titanic” won Best Picture in 1998.

During post-production of “The Way of Water” in 2022, Landau told The Associated Press that while the ways people consume movies have changed, the reason we watch them is the same.

A scene from the movie Titanic

Landau won an Oscar in 1998 for “Titanic.” (CBS via Getty Images)

“One of the things that hasn’t changed is: Why do people turn to entertainment today? Just like they did when the first ‘Avatar’ came out, they do it to escape, to escape the world we live in,” he said.

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Landau also oversaw hit films in the 1990s such as “Home Alone,” “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and Cameron’s “True Lies,” after being named executive vice president of feature films at 20th Century Fox when he was just 29 years old.

Lando was born in July 1960 and graduated from the University of Southern California School of Film. He is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Julie, his two sons, Jamie and Judy, and two sisters and a brother.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.