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J. Lee-Thompson (1914 -- 2002)

Bristol-born John Lee-Thompson established his enduring reputation as a director of popular, well-made action adventure films in the late 1950s-early '60s. British classics including Ice Cold in Alex (1958) with John Mills and Tiger Bay (1959) with John's daughter, Hayley, were followed by his most successful production, The Guns of Navarone (1961). Starring David Niven, Gregory Peck and Anthony Quayle, this taut World War II thriller secured Lee-Thompson an Oscar® nomination as Best Director.

After its release he relocated to Hollywood, which remained his base for the next three decades and twenty films. Amongst these were the original Cape Fear (1962) with Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck, two of the Planet of the Apes sequels, and no fewer than nine genre movies starring Charles Bronson. Recurring themes throughout his work are heroism, crime and justice. J. Lee-Thompson died aged 88 on 30 August 2002, survived by his third wife and a daughter.