Kiwi Oscar winner dies

Last updated 07:42 28/01/2013
Lloyd Phillips
TRAILBLAZER: Lloyd Phillips.

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Film producer Lloyd Phillips - the first Kiwi to win an Oscar - has died in Los Angeles.

Phillips suffered a heart attack. He was 63.

Although he was born in South Africa, he grew up in Epsom, Auckland, and attended Auckland Grammar.

It was a short stint as a photojournalist in his early years which helped secure Phillips a spot at the prestigious National Film School in Britain in 1973, and his first Oscar came not long after.

His live-action short film The Dollar Bottom - about a group of school boys who set up an insurance scheme against being caned by their teachers - received an Academy Award in 1981 for best short movie.

The list of films produced by Phillips is long and glittering. He worked with A-list stars and directors on films including Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt, when he produced Inglourious Basterds; Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in the The Tourist; and director Zach Snyder in Man of Steel - a new Superman remake due for release later this year.

Despite being based in LA for many years, Phillips was a staunch advocate for the New Zealand film industry.

Nikau Film Productions producer Catherine Madigan said he was instrumental in bringing filming for action hit Vertical Limit to Queenstown in 1999, and kept a close connection with film-makers in New Zealand.

"Lloyd was not only a champion of New Zealand as a location but also of New Zealand film crew and whenever possible he would take New Zealand crew with him on various films around the globe."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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