Angelina Jolie pays tribute to Louis Zamperini

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 3 July 2014
Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie has spoken out following the death of Louis Zamperini, the World War II hero on which her film 'Unbroken' is based

Angelina Jolie has paid tribute to Louis Zamperini, the subject of her film 'Unbroken'.

The 39-year-old actress has spoken out following the news that the World War II hero - who is the subject of the upcoming film directed by Jolie - has passed away from pneumonia at the age of 97.

She released a statement through Universal Pictures, saying: "It is a loss impossible to describe. We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him. We will miss him terribly."

'Unbroken' is based on the novel 'Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption' by Laura Hillenbrand and draws on the experiences of Zamperini - who competed in the 1936 Olympics as a distance runner before fighting in the Second World War as an Air Force bombardier and becoming a prisoner of war after surviving a crash in shark-infested waters in the Pacific ocean.

His family also released a statement, which reads: "Having overcome insurmountable odds at every turn in his life, Olympic runner and World War II hero Louis Zamperini has never broken down from a challenge.

"He recently faced the greatest challenge of his life with a life-threatening case of pneumonia. After a 40-day long battle for his life, he peacefully passed away in the presence of his entire family, leaving behind a legacy that has touched so many lives.

"His indomitable courage and fighting spirit were never more apparent than in these last days."

Universal added: "We are so profoundly sad at this moment and all of our thoughts and prayers are with the Zamperini family. Louis was truly one of a kind.

"He lived the most remarkable life, not because of the many unbelievable incidents that marked his near century's worth of years, but because of the spirit with which he faced every one of them."

'Unbroken' is scheduled for worldwide release on December 25, 2014.


  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 2h 17min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Angelina Jolie
  • Written by: Joel Coen (screenplay), Ethan Coen (screenplay) , Richard LaGravenese (screenplay), William Nicholson (screenplay), Laura Hillenbrand (book)
  • Cast: Jack O'Connell, Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson
  • UK release: 26 December 2014

Staggering true story of Louis Zamperini (O'Connell), an Olympic runner who in WW II became a USAAF bombardier who was shot down, survived in a raft for days and ended up in a Japanese POW camp. Jolie's directorial skills are much improved, but there's just too much story going for any character development.

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