Oscar best director Michael Cimino dies at age 77

Los Angeles: Michael Cimino, Oscar best director winner for his seminal Vietnam War drama "The Deer Hunter", has died at the age of 77 in Los Angeles. His body was found by police Saturday at his home after friends said they were unable to reach him by phone, Xinhua reported. According to the Los Angeles County Coroner's website, Cimino died on Thursday at his residence, but the office did not give the reason of death, pending further investigation. Cimino was born in New York City on February 3, 1939. He directed eight films in his career. In 1979, Cimino won an Oscar and a Golden Globe best director award for "The Deer Hunter", which also won four other Oscars including Best Picture. Some film makers expressed their appreciation for Cimino after he passed away. "Our work together is something I will always remember. He will be missed," actor Robert De Niro said in a statement Saturday. "I wish I had paid tribute to Michael Cimino while he was alive, " tweeted William Friedkin, who directed the landmark 1970s films "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist."  "He was an important and masterful film maker. We will always have his work."