Australian filmmaker Paul Cox, whose films Lonely Hearts and Man of Flowers earned him acclaim as the father of Australia’s indie cinema, has died. His passing was confirmed by the Australian Directors Guild. Though no cause of death was given, Cox had long battled cancer and underwent a liver transplant in 2009.
Cox’s cinematic breakthrough came in 1981 with Lonely Hearts, a romantic comedy starring Wendy Hughes and Norman Kaye that won the AFI Award for best film. A pair of internationally acclaimed films quickly followed: 1983’s Man of Flowers and 1984’s My First Wife, launching a career that continued throughout his recent illnesses. Last year, he wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical Force of Destiny starring David Wenham as a man awaiting a liver transplant.
Cox’s credits also include 12 documentaries, including 2012’s The Dinner Party. In 2001, his Nijinsky: The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky featured Derek Jacobi’s reading of the Russian ballet star’s own words.
Born in the Netherlands April 16, 1940, Cox relocated to Australia in 1965. His daughter Kyra Cox posted a tribute on Twitter: