George Ogilvie, the co-director of George Miller’s Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, died April 5 at the age of 89.
According to THR, Ogilvie’s cause of death was cardiac arrest following a prolonged battle with emphysema.
In addition to Beyond Thunderdome, Ogilvie directed Short Changed (1986), The Place at the Coast (1987) and The Crossing (1990), the last of which marked the acting debut of Russell Crowe. Crowe posted his condolences on Twitter, referring to Ogilvie as “A gifted teacher in art, theatre and life.”
Born on March 5, 1931, in Goulburn, New South Wales, Ogilvie would later move to England with his mother when he was 20 years old. It was there that he made his debut as a theater actor, even studying mimery under French stage coach Jacques Lecoq. Ogilvie later returned to Australia in 1965 and became associate director for the Melbourne Theatre Company, directing 23 plays before becoming an artistic director for the South Australian Theatre Company.
Ogilvie’s directorial work also extended to Australian TV miniseries, including an episode of the 1983 political drama The Dismissal and the 1984 series Bodyline. This work brought him into contact with the show’s producers, Mad Max creators George Miller and Byron Kennedy.
After Kennedy died in a helicopter crash in 1983, Ogilvie took over as co-director with Miller on the production Beyond Thunderdome. The film, which released in 1985 and starred a returning Mel Gibson alongside Tina Turner, Frank Thring and Angelo Rossitto, received positive reviews from critics. However, fans tend to regard Thunderdome as the franchise’s weakest entry, especially with the overwhelming critical success of Fury Road.
Ogilvie is survived by his niece, Heather, who confirmed the news of his death.
George Ogilvie, Australian theater director and co-director of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, passed away April 5 at the age of 89.