SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK: Vajna produced 59 films in all, including the 1996 Evita starring Madonna and Sylvester Stallone’s first three Rambo movies.

He was born in Budapest in 1944, and at the age of 12, when Hungary’s 1956 revolution against Soviet rule was crushed, he fled the country and emigrated to Canada with the help of the Red Cross. He was reunited with his family in Los Angeles.

His 1997 comedy, based on a play titled Out of Order by English playwright Ray Cooney, holds the record for ticket sales among Hungarian movies produced over the past two decades.