As The Inquisitr reported earlier today, World War II veteran and Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini died Wednesday from pneumonia at the age of 97. His story is the subject of the Laura Hillenbrand book Unbroken, which is being turned into a feature film directed by Angelina Jolie. The film is scheduled for release on Christmas Day this year.
Jolie has issued a brief statement on the passing of Louis Zamperini, via HitFix, calling his passing “a loss impossible to describe.”
“We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him,” she writes. “We will miss him terribly.”
Universal Studios, the company distributing Unbroken, also issued a statement on Zamperini, saying they were “profoundly sad” to hear of his death.
“Louis was truly one of a kind,” the statement read. “He lived the most remarkable life, not because of the many unbelievable incidents that marked his near century’s worth of years, but because of the spirit with which he faced every one of them.”
The studio’s statement continued by saying that Zamperini faced situations “that would cause most of us to surrender.”
“Louie always persevered and always prevailed, and he spent the better part of his lifetime sharing the message that you could do the same,” the statement continued. “His example of grace, dignity and resilience inspired all of us lucky enough to know him and the millions who got to know him from the pages of Laura’s book.”
The studio finished by saying that the release of Unbroken now has a “renewed sense of responsibility” in showing Louis Zamperini’s life to audiences in theaters across the nation.
“Now more than ever, we join Angelina in honoring the lessons and legacy of this extraordinary man who has meant so much to so many,” the statement read.
Many others have posted tributes to Louis Zamperini on their social media pages, including Fox News contributor Brit Hume; Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll; and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) July 3, 2014
— Matthew Barkley (@MattBarkley) July 3, 2014
Discovery Channel will pay tribute to Louis Zamperini by re-airing Adrift: 47 Days with Sharks this Sunday at 4 pm, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The made-for-TV movie focuses on how Zamperini and another person survived a plane crash and the shark-infested waters into which they landed. The channel said in a statement that they hope the re-airing of Adrift will “serve as a memorable tribute” to Zamperini.
[Image credit: Universal Pictures via The Hollywood Reporter]