(CNN) — Wolfgang Petersen, the Oscar-nominated director of such films as “Das Boot” and “Air Force One,” died Aug. 12, his spokeswoman, Michelle Bega of Rogers & Cowan/PMK, told CNN. He was 81 years old. Petersen, a German filmmaker, garnered the most awards in his career for his 1981 World War II epic “Das Boot,” but his career is populated by a string of films that hold special places in the hearts of lovers. of cult action cinema. After writing and directing the 1984 children’s fantasy film “The NeverEnding Story” (known as “La Historia sin Fin” in Latin America and “La Historia Interminable” in Spain), he made a series of action films with some of the stars major hits of the time, such as “In the Line of Fire” (starring Clint Eastwood and Rene Russo ), “Outbreak” (with Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman and Russo) and “Air Force One” (with Harrison Ford and Glenn Close ). In the years that followed, he continued the trend, directing “The Perfect Storm” with George Clooney and “Troy” with Brad Pitt and “Poseidon.” “Being directed by Wolfgang on ‘Air Force One’ remains a special memory,” actress Glenn Close said in a statement provided to CNN. “Although the script was exciting and incredibly intense, I remember a lot of laughs, especially in the scenes around the huge table in the war room.” Petersen, he said, set up a remote-controlled camera that could rotate in place, allowing him to film all the actors, and Petersen would signal them as they were being filmed. “You knew the camera would stop at you because of his hilarious direction as he set up the shot. He was pointing at us and saying, ‘Acting…acting…NO acting…NO acting…ACTING.'” …acting!'” he reminded himself. “He didn’t waste anyone’s time. My memory is of a man full of joie de vivre who was doing what he loved to do the most.” Petersen is survived by his wife, Marie Antoinette, his son, Daniel, and two grandchildren, according to the spokeswoman for the.