Gary Winick — an pioneering independent film lensman who found mainstream success with his romantic comedies 13 Going on 30 and Letters to Juliet – lost his battle with inoperable brain cancer over the weekend.
He was 49.
The filmmaker — who directed Hollywood starlets Jennifer Garner Amanda Seyfried of the course of his career — had been battling the disease for some time before quietly passing away on Sunday.
Director Matt Dentler first announced the news on Twitter shortly after the director’s passing: “Gary Winick died today. Too late to make the Oscars tribute, but way too early. He leaves behind a legacy of supporting indie film and NYC.”
“He was suffering from brain cancer for quite some time, and it ultimately metastasized throughout his body,” Winick longtime manager Rosalie Swedin later confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. “What’s remarkable is that after his first surgery, he was able to direct Letters to Juliet. It was a battle that we thought he had won, and ultimately they just didn’t get it all,” she added.
“He was very special to me. He was a dear friend as well as a longtime client. Gary was an incredibly important figure in the indie movement. He will be missed.”
In 1999, Winick founded the company InDigEnt, which went on to produce nineteen independent films over the course of a decade. His other directing credits included Charlotte’s Web, which starred a young Dakota Fanning, and Bride Wars, which featured Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson.
A private funeral service is still being planned. In lieu of flowers, Winick’s family requests that all donations be made to charity.