"British film executive Gareth Wigan, behind such movies as Chariots of Fire, Star Wars and Alien, has died at the age of 78 following a brief illness.
"He was there for me when I needed him and I'll always be grateful," said Star Wars director George Lucas.
Barbra Streisand, director of Prince of Tides which Wigan worked on, said he was "one of the smartest, kindest, most loving people I have ever known."
A pioneer of global cinema, Wigan also backed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
The film's director Ang Lee said: "Gareth Wigan was a unique figure in the movie business. He was a true English gentleman, a great soul. He made quality films, and he was also a pioneer of studio investment in foreign films."
A little more from George Lucas on Gareth Wigan from IMDB via WENN news: ?Gareth Wigan was one of the most kind and thoughtful executives I?ve ever worked with. He was a real supporter of creative talent. I?ll never forget the first time he saw Star Wars. It was just Gareth and Alan Ladd Jr. seeing an early cut of the film. Gareth was so moved that he cried. As a young filmmaker facing a lot of skeptics, his genuine love of the film meant the world to me. He was there for me when I needed him and I?ll always be grateful.?
R.I.P. Gareth Wigan and thanks for your contributions to the fictional universe we love.