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'Empire Strikes Back' Director Irvin Kershner Dies

11/29/2010 10:48pm EST

The Empire Strikes BackDirector Irvin Kershner has died at the age of 87.

The American moviemaker, best known for directing Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, passed away at his home in Los Angeles after a long illness.

The news was confirmed by his goddaughter Adriana Santini on Monday.

Kershner began his career teaching photography at the University of Southern California, before stepping behind the camera to work on a number of TV shows and small screen movie Stakeout On Dope Street in 1958.

His film career took off in the 1960s and he went on to direct a number of movies including A Fine Madness with Sean Connery in 1966, Up The Sandbox starring Barbra Streisand in 1972 and The Return Of A Man Called Horse with Richard Harris in 1976.

He remains most famous for stepping behind the camera for the second Star Wars installment in 1980.

After stepping away from the sci-fi franchise, Kershner directed Connery again in 1983's unofficial James Bond film Never Say Never Again and took the helm of Robocop 2 in 1990.


The Empire Strikes Back


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Photo Credits: © Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment & Lucasfilm Ltd