The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on Monday issued the following statement on the passing of Norman Jewison:
“Norman Jewison was an iconic filmmaker, writer, and director. He made some of the most memorable films of the 20th century – films that told stories of diversity and of our relentless humanity, like Fiddler on the Roof, In the Heat of the Night, and Moonstruck. They were his own creative works, but they echoed values that are held by all Canadians. He was a proud Canadian and leaves behind a body of work that is still deeply relevant to Canadians, and all people.
“A veteran of the Second World War, Mr. Jewison served overseas with the Royal Canadian Navy. After his service, he attended Victoria College at the University of Toronto before starting a career in television and the movies that spanned over 50 years.
“A staunch believer in social justice, Mr. Jewison was committed to working for the greater good. He marched in civil rights protests in the 1960s and never shied away from thought-provoking, and often difficult, topics in his work. The Hurricane and the critically acclaimed In the Heat of the Night became seminal films on the topic of racial inequality.
“Mr. Jewison’s films were wide ranging – from dramas, to comedies, to musicals – and they were best in class. His movies earned a total of 45 Academy Award nominations and won 12. Mr. Jewison himself received three Academy Award nominations for Best Director and an Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. He was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1988 and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame a decade later.
“Despite international acclaim, Mr. Jewison never forgot his Canadian roots. He mentored many aspiring Canadian filmmakers. In 1998, he founded the Canadian Film Centre, which continues to encourage and support Canadian talent.
“The world of movies has lost one of its greats, and Canada has lost one of its most talented storytellers. On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I offer my deepest condolences to Mr. Jewison’s family and friends. I know his legacy will remain an inspiration for generations.”