Lewis Gilbert, who directed three iconic James Bond films, has died at 97. He was best-known for directing The Spy Who Loved Me.
Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said, "It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of our dear friend Lewis Gilbert."
The production duo described him as a "true gentleman" and said he'd be "sorely missed." They added, "Lewis was a true gentleman. He made an enormous contribution to the British film industry as well as the Bond films, directing You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker.
"His films are not only loved by us but are considered classics within the series," they concluded.
Born in 1920 in London, Gilbert was also known for directing Educating Rita and Alfie, which helped actor Michael Caine rise to stardom and gave Gilbert an Oscar nomination.
Before directing the Bond films, he worked on Second World War films Reach For The Sky and Sink The Bismarck!
Gilbert directed 1967's You Only Live Twice starring Sean Connery, The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977 and Moonraker in 1979, both starring Roger Moore.
In 2002, Gilbert made his final film Before You Go where he was reunited with Educating Rita star Julie Walters. He received a BFI fellowship in 2001 for his work in British film.
Moore's family posted a tribute to Gilbert saying, "Lewis Gilbert was one of Sir Roger's favourite directors. The industry and Bond world will miss him although his legacy lives on forever. RIP Lewis."
Director Edgar Wright paid tribute to Gilbert saying, "Why'd you have to be so good?"
Comedian David Walliams showed his appreciation thanking Gilbert "for all the joy you brought me & millions of others."
Gilbert maintained an extremely private personal life, but released an autobiography called All My Flashbacks in 2010.
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