Donald Wrye, ‘Ice Castles’ Writer and Director, Dies at 80

Director, writer and producer Donald Wrye, best known for the 1978 figure skating film “Ice Castles,” has died. He was 80.

A relative posted a Facebook message confirming that he “died in his sleep early Friday morning at his home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.”

“Donald left a legacy of some amazingly wonderful films, which he and I had just recently spoken about gathering copies of, so that each of the children would have them when he was unexpectedly called forth,” the post read.

Wrye wrote and directed “Ice Castles,” which stars Lynn-Holly Johnson as an aspiring Olympic figure skater who goes blind after a freak accident but overcomes the handicap to pursue her dreams. The film’s theme “Looking Through the Eyes of Love” was nominated for an Academy Award.

Wrye’s other credits include producing a pair of Oscar-nominated documentary shorts, “As Impression of John Steinbeck: Writer” and “The Numbers Start With the River,” and 1987’s seven-part ABC miniseries about a Soviet takeover called “Amerika,” starring Kris Kristofferson.

Wrye returned to “Ice Castles” for the 2010 reboot starring Taylor Firth and Rob Mayes.

He is survived by his wife Katherine Dowling as well as his son, Gabriel, and daughters, Ariel and Caddy. Memorial arrangements will be made in Malibu.

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