Rambo, Terminator producer Andy Vajna dies at 74

World | 21 Jan 2019 1:09 pm

Andy Vajna, a Hungarian-American film producer who worked on several "Rambo” movies with Sylvester Stallone, "Total Recall” with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Madonna’s "Evita,” has died. He was 74.

Vajna, who produced many other films, died yesterday at his Budapest home after a long illness, Hungary’s National Film Fund said.

Schwarzenegger remembered Vajna as "a dear friend and a revolutionary force in Hollywood.”

"He proved that you don’t need studios to make huge movies,” Schwarzenegger posted on Twitter. "He had a huge heart, and he was one of the most generous guys around. I’ll miss him.”

Stallone paid tribute to Vajna on Instagram, calling him "a pioneer” and "the man that made Rambo” happen. Vajna believed in "First Blood,” the first Rambo film, "when no one else did. This truly breaks my heart,” Stallone said.

Vajna was also owner of the TV2 Group, a Hungarian company which owns several television channels, including TV2, one of Hungary’s two main broadcasters and politically aligned closely with Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government.

"We are bidding farewell to the greatest Hungarian film producer,” Orban posted on his Facebook page. "Hasta la vista, Andy! Thank you for everything, my friend!”

Since 2011, Vajna had been a commissioner in the Orban government, in charge of developing Hungary’s film industry.

After studying at UCLA, Vajna operated cinemas in Hong Kong, where he also established a successful wig-making company.

In the mid-1970s, Vajna set up Carolco, a film production firm, with Mario Kassar. Besides the Rambo series, the two men were also behind films like "Victory” — starring Stallone, Michael Caine and Pele; "Red Heat” and "Total Recall,” starring Schwarzenegger; and "Angel Heart” and "Johnny Handsome” with Mickey Rourke.

After leaving Carolco in 1989, Vajna’s films included "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” ″Die Hard with a Vengeance,” ″The Scarlet Letter,” ″Nixon” and "I Spy.”

He also produced several successful Hungarian films and was co-owner of Korda Studios, in the village of Etyek, near Budapest, where "The Martian,” ″Inferno” and "Hellboy II: The Golden Army” were filmed.

Vajna is survived by his wife, Timea.-AP

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