Robert De Niro has paid tribute to director Michael Cimino, who died aged 77 this weekend.

The two worked together on the 1978 Academy Award-winning film The Deer Hunter, one of De Niro’s defining roles. Camino won two Oscars for his work as a director and producer on the film.

The actor said in a statement: “Our work together is something I will always remember. He will be missed.”

Cimino, who directed a total of eight films over his career, died at his home in Beverley Hills, California on Saturday (June 2). Eric Weissmann, a friend and former lawyer of Cimino’s, said he alerted the police after friends had reported him missing. The cause of death has not been determined.

Cimino’s follow-up to The Deer Hunter, Heaven’s Gate, was a box office flop and received poor reviews at the time of its release. In recent years, criticism of the film has softened, with some even considering it the director’s misunderstood masterpiece.

Sunchaser, Cimino’s final feature film, was released in 1996. It starred Woody Harrelson as the lead and Jon Seda and Anne Bancroft. (via NME)

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