Hungarian-born American film producer Andy Vajna dies at 74 in Budapest
Andrew G. Vajna, the Hungarian-born American film producer known for blockbusters such as Terminator or Rambo, has died at the age of 74 in his Budapest home, the Hungarian National Film Fund (NFA) announced here in a statement on Sunday.
"At the age of 74, Andy Vajna, the dominant figure of the Hungarian and international film industry, film producer and government commissioner responsible for the development of the national film industry, died in his home in Budapest," NFA announced.
Andy Vajna was born in 1944 in Budapest. In 1956 he escaped from Hungary at the age of 12 and emigrated to Canada with the help of the Red Cross, and eventually ended up in Los Angeles. He studied at the University of California (UCLA) and began working at the University's Motion Picture Department. Later he started a photography business, then founded a company manufacturing wigs in Hong Kong where he also operated a film theatre.
Andy Vajna was one of the world's most prestigious producers. As a producer, 59 films are associated with his name, including world-renowned and acclaimed works such as the Rambo Films, Die Hard, Angel Heart, Terminator, Evita or Jacob's Ladder among others.
"Andy Vajna never forgot his Hungarian roots and always paid attention to the domestic film industry. As a powerful government commissioner, he has been working for the Hungarian film industry since 2011, and under his direction the Hungarian film has risen to the forefront of the world," the statement underlined.
After the consolidation of the film support system, he was responsible for the creation of the Hungarian National Film Fund, responsible for such great Hungarian films as The son of Saul, which earned the Oscar for best foreign film in 2016.
His mission with the film fund was to contribute to the production of Hungarian films or co-productions that provide art and entertainment for moviegoers and bring significant success both domestically and on an international level.
Under the Vajna era, Hungarian movies financed by the Hungarian National Film Fund won altogether more than 130 international awards while the number of foreign films produced in Hungary increased significantly.
Vajna had also a powerful media portfolio, of which the most important element was commercial television channel TV2.
VAJNA, Andrew G. (András György Vajna)
Born: 8/1/1944, Budapest, Hungary
Died: 1/20/2019, Budapest, Hungary
Andrew G. Vajna’s westerns – executive producer:
Extreme Prejudice – 1987
Tombstone - 1993