Russ Kavanaugh, Producer and Uncle of Ryan Kavanaugh, Dies at 63

Russ Kavanaugh

"He was more than an uncle but a best friend, a confidant, he was the person you went to to help with anything," the Relativity CEO shared in a statement to THR.

Russ Kavanaugh, who co-produced such films as Michael Hoffman's film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' The Best of Me and 1995's Money Train, died Thursday after a two-year battle with glioblastoma, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. He was 63.

Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, Russ' nephew, confirmed his uncle's passing in a statement to THR. The producer died in the comfort of his home.

Russ Kavanaugh worked as a radio DJ and jet pilot in his earlier years before stepping into the film industry in the late 1990s, serving as a postproduction supervisor for multiple titles including 1999's Wild Wild West and 1998's Jack Frost. He transitioned to associate producer and worked on five different films (1997's Rosewood among them) before taking on the title of producer for more recent releases.

His last film, 2014's The Best of Me, starring James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan, was co-produced with nephew Ryan Kavanaugh.

"No one exuded more love towards his family than uncle Russ. He was more than an uncle but a best friend, a confidant, he was the person you went to to help with anything. No problem too big," the Relativity exec shared in a statement. "He would want the world to know he beat the odds (of the disease by living longer than his diagnoses) and would smile while saying it."

Russ Kavanaugh is survived by his brother Jack, sister-in-law Leslie, daughters Jessica and Nicole and nephews Matthew and Ryan.

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