Empire Strikes Back director dies

Veteran filmmaker Irvin Kershner, the director of the “Star Wars” sequel “The Empire Strikes Back,” died Nov. 27 at his Los Angeles home after a 3 1/2-year battle with lung cancer. He was 87.

Born in Philadelphia, Kershner studied music, painting and photography before turning to film and attending USC’s film school. He went on to direct a number of noted features in the 1960s and 1970s, including the 1976 television movie “Raid on Entebbe,” which earned him an Emmy nomination for direction.

His big-budget work included the 1983 James Bond film “Never Say Never Again” and “Robocop 2” in 1990. He also directed Barbra Streisand in 1972’s “Up the Sandbox.”

Recently, Kershner was working on a musical called “Djinn” about the friendship between a Jewish immigrant and an Arab sheik in pre-state Israel. — ap