Louis Zamperini competed as an Olympic runner in 1936, before serving his country in World War II. His plane was shot down in enemy territory, but he and two other crew members managed to survive for 47 days, before they were discovered by the Japanese and tortured for many years as prisoners of war. Unbroken is based on the Laura Hillenbrand book of the same name, Jack O'Connell (300: Rise of an Empire) portrays Louis Zamperini in the film, which is slated for release on December 25.
"It is a loss impossible to describe. We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him. We will miss him terribly."
The Zamperini family also issued their own statement which highlights the unbreakable spirit of Louis
"Having overcome insurmountable odds at every turn in his life, Olympic runner and World War II hero Louis Zamperini has never broken down from a challenge. He recently faced the greatest challenge of his life with a life-threatening case of pneumonia. After a 40-day long battle for his life, he peacefully passed away in the presence of his entire family, leaving behind a legacy that has touched so many lives. His indomitable courage and fighting spirit were never more apparent than in these last days."
"We are so profoundly sad at this moment and all of our thoughts and prayers are with the Zamperini family. Louis was truly one of a kind. He lived the most remarkable life, not because of the many unbelievable incidents that marked his near century's worth of years, but because of the spirit with which he faced every one of them."
The studio is expected to debut the first trailer for Unbroken very soon, so stay tuned for that.