Convicted drug smuggler George Jung has died. Famously played by Hollywood A-lister Johnny Depp in the 2001 biopic Blow, Jung reportedly died on Wednesday morning at his home in the Boston area. He was 78 years old. A cause of death wasn't revealed, but Jung had recently been experiencing liver and kidney failure. He had been placed in home hospice care since this past weekend, and his girlfriend, Rhonda, and his friend, Roger, were by his side when he passed. Word is Jung will be cremated, though it's not clear what will be done with the ashes.
"May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face, and the winds of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars," reads many tweets posted to Twitter in the wake of the news, quoting a memorable line from Blow.
Jung, also known as "Boston George," was a major figure during the cocaine trade in the United States in the 70s and 80s. Working with the Medellin Cartel, he helped bring in coke by the planeful, supplying the country with nearly all of its cocaine. The prolific coke smuggler's crimes eventually caught up with him, landing Jung a nearly 20-year prison sentence. He was released in 2014, but was arrested for violating his parole in 2016 for taking a paid promotional appearance without first informing his parole officer.
Previously, Jung's story was documented in the book Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All. This inspired the hit 2001 movie Blow, which was directed by Ted Demme. Johnny Depp played the part of George Jung with Penelope Cruz co-starring as Mirtha Jung, George's first wife. In 2015, Depp was seen chumming it up with Jung after the smuggler's release from prison in 2014.
"It's very rare in life that any person opens up their heart and soul to you with unlimited access to their most profound thoughts, dreams, fears, regrets, intimacies," Depp said of his meeting with Jung at the time. "Even more rare when you've just met that person and, because of the obvious predicament, it's highly unlikely that you will be spending too much time with them in the near future. So for this and more, I owe a great debt of gratitude to George."
In Blow, Jung's relationship with his daughter is at the emotional core of the movie. Following his prison release, Jung had tried to rebuild his relationship with Kristina Sunshine Jung, though Just Richest reported in February that she had refused to forgive him for his crimes and subsequent abandonment due to his incarceration. They had since been seen together in public events in recent images, but the status of their relationship at the time of George's death is unknown. Emma Roberts and Jaime King shared the role of Kristina when she appeared in Blow.
George Jung most recently appeared in the 2017 documentary Wildlands, which uncovers the brutal realities of the international cocaine trade. Our thoughts go out to those feeling the pain of losing Jung at this time. May he rest in peace. This news comes to us from TMZ.