Norman Jewison, Oscar-Nominated Canadian Director Has Died

Best known for ‘In the Heat of the Night’

Canadian director Norman Jewison, whose decades of work included Sidney Poitier-led drama “In the Heat of the Night” and 1971’s “Fiddler on the Roof,” has died, according to his publicist. He was 97.

According to his publicist Jeff Sanderson, Jewison died “peacefully” on Saturday. Sanderson did not specify a cause of death.

Norman’s career spanned over 40 years and earned him several Oscar nominations including three for best director and four for best picture as a producer – 1966’s “The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming,” 1971’s “Fiddler on the Roof,” 1984’s “A Soldier’s Story” and 1987’s “Moonstruck.” In 1999, he was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his body of work.

“In The Heat of the Night,” starring Poitier and Lee Grant, won five Oscars, including Best Picture, but Jewison was the director, not a producer on that film.

Jewison directed other iconic films throughout the 1980s, including “In Country,” starring Bruce Willis and Emily Lloyd, and “Other People’s Money.”

Fun Facts:

Jewison had been in show business since the age of five, when he made his on-stage debut as a performer at the Malvern Collegiate Institute, according to an official biography. After serving time in the Royal Canadian Navy, Jewison earned a degree from Victoria College in Toronto.

Some of his first credits as a director were for television series in the 1950s, including “Your Hit Parade,” “The Andy Williams Show” and “The Fabulous Fifties.”