Actors, producers and directors have been paying tribute to the pioneering Israeli producer Menahem Golan following his death in Tel Aviv on Friday (August 8, 2014) at the age of 85. Golan directed the classic 1980s action movies Bloodsport, Missing in Action and The Delta Force.

Menahem GolanTributes are being paid to Menahem Golan [Getty/Alberto E. Rodriguez]

Belgian actor Jean-Claude Van Damme tweeted, "RIP, Menahem Golan.I love you and will always do."

Action star Chuck Norris also paid tribute to the filmmaker, saying that Golan's "faith" had enabled him to make his movie breakthrough.

With his cousin and partner Yoram Globus, Golan established The Cannon Group, a production company that made over 200 movies including Sylvester Stallone's Cobra and Over The Top and the four sequels to Death Wish, staring Charles Bronson.

The pair also made the foray into drama, and even Shakespeare, producing Jean-Luc Godard's 1987 adaptation of King Lear. 

More: check out Menahem Golan's filmmography

More: more Menahem Golan news

Born Menahem Globus in pre-state Israel in 1929, Golan was a pilot and bombardier in Israel's war of independence in 1948 before going on to study at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He began producing movies in the 1960s before buying the Cannon Group in 1979. 

A documentary about the production company screened at this year's Cannes Film Festival, while another will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival next month.

British film-maker Edgar Wright, director of the Cornetto trilogy, also paid tribute, tweeting that the Cannon logo should be flown "at half mast".