05:55 AM EDT 03/19/2015
Originally posted 12/04/2014 11:00AM
His immense courage inspired the upcoming film Unbroken, but Louis Zamperini didn't start out a hero.
Originally posted 02/17/2014 09:45AM
Originally posted 10/10/2013 01:30PM
Angelina Jolie met Louis Zamperini, the 96-year-old former Olympic runner and World War II prisoner of war, last winter when she signed on to direct Unbroken, based on Zamperini's life.
The pair became fast friends.
"Angelina is a human dynamo, and I know she will tell this story in the right way," said Zamperini, a bombardier who survived 47 days adrift in a lifeboat after a plane crash – only to be taken prisoner by the Japanese. Author Laura Hillenbrand's biography, Unbroken, became a bestseller in 2010.
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's Emotional Post-Split Vacation
Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick Break Up
Scott Disick Road to Breakup: 'He Was Drinking Too Much and Embarrassing' Kourtney Kardashian
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Are Married
Kourtney Kardashian Was 'Willing to Sacrifice' Relationship with Scott for Their Kids, Says Source
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!