Angelina Jolie to pay radio tribute to Louis Zamperini

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Angelina Jolie has recorded a eulogy to the late American Olympian and prisoner of war Louis Zamperini.

The actress and director will pay tribute to the World War II hero in a BBC Radio 4 documentary to be broadcast on November 7.

Zamperni inspired the Hollywood star’s upcoming film ‘Unbroken’, which focuses on the extraordinary life of the man who became famous almost 80 years ago.

The legend’s biopic, directed by Jolie, follows Zamperini’s life and is adapted from the bestseller ‘Unbroken – A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption’ by Laura Hillenbrand.

Zamperini competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a 5000 meter distance runner before fighting during World War II as a bombardier in the US Army.

He survived 47 days on a raft after his plane crashed into the Pacific until he was captured by a Japanese patrol and sent to a POW camp, where he was tortured and held for two years.

He died from pneumonia in July, at the age of 97.

After the news of his death, Jolie said in a statement: “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”.

Angelina Jolie with Louis Zamperini (photo: Reuters)

According to BBC News, Jolie will be heard in Friday’s tribute saying: “They say to never meet your heroes because they disappoint you, but Louis was my hero”.

“He reminded me of the power of the individual spirit and a sense of purpose, and overcoming obstacles.”

“If you were around him you became a better person who looked at life differently and it helped to remind me of that.”

The survival drama ‘Unbroken’ is due to be released on December 2014.