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Michael Anderson, director of ‘The Dam Busters,’ dies at 98

Director Michael Anderson talks with Sophia Loren on

Director Michael Anderson talks with Sophia Loren on the set of "Operation Crossbow" at MGM's British Studios at Elstree in Borehamwood near London in 1964. Photo Credit: AP

LONDON — British director Michael Anderson, whose films included war epic “The Dam Busters” and sci-fi classic “Logan’s Run,” has died at age 98.

Anderson’s family said he died of heart disease April 25 in Canada, at his home on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.

Born into a theatrical family in London in 1920, Anderson served in the army during World War II and made his feature debut in 1949 with “Private Angelo,” co-directed by Peter Ustinov.

His 1955 adventure “The Dam Busters” told the story of a daring wartime bombing raid on Germany’s industrial heartland. Its visual flair and stirring score helped make it one of Britain’s best-loved war films, and its thrilling climax helped inspire the attack on the Death Star in the first “Star Wars” movie.

“The Dam Busters” is due to be broadcast at London’s Royal Albert Hall and in 400 U.K. movie theaters on May 17 to mark the 75th anniversary of the real-life 1943 raid that inspired it.

Anderson followed “The Dam Busters” with the big-budget, all-star adventure “Around the World in 80 Days,” which won five Academy Awards in 1957, including best picture.

He made some three dozen features in all, including thrillers “Operation Crossbow” and “The Quiller Memorandum.”

“Logan’s Run,” his 1976 sci-fi film about a youth-obsessed future society, has become a cult classic.

Anderson’s survivors include his third wife, Adrianne Ellis, a son, two stepchildren and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

His stepdaughter, actress Laurie Holden, tweeted: “I will miss him everyday. He was the kindest human being I’ve ever known in my life.”

The family said a private memorial service for family and friends will be held at Anderson’s home over the summer.

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