(corrects 'shot down' to 'crashed' and 'Japan' to 'Japanese' in
July 3 Louis Zamperini, an American prisoner of
war in World War Two and Olympic runner whose life inspired the
book and upcoming feature film "Unbroken," has died at age 97,
Variety reported on Thursday.
Zamperini died after a 40-day bout with pneumonia, his
family said in a statement, according to Variety.
Angelina Jolie, who directed the upcoming film based on the
2010 book by Laura Hillenbrand, expressed her sadness on Twitter
about Zamperini's death.
"It is a loss impossible to describe," Jolie said. "We are
all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known
him. We will miss him terribly."
Zamperini survived weeks on an inflatable raft and two years
in captivity by the Japanese after his plane crashed during
World War Two.
(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; Editing by
Colleen Jenkins, Susan Heavey and Eric Beech)