'Top Gun' director Tony Scott dead in apparent suicide after bridge jump
Tony Scott, the famed action director of films such as 'Top Gun' and 'Enemy of the State', has died after jumping from a bridge in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles in an apparent suicide.
Scott, the younger brother of 'Prometheus' helmer Ridley, plunged from the Vincent Thomas Bridge at around 12:30pm on Sunday after scaling the 8ft fence on the side of the suspension bridge.
A note listing his contact information was found in the 68-year-old's Toyota Prius which was parked on the bridge and an additional suicide note was uncovered at his office.
The Hollywood director's body was recovered four hours later using sonar equipment. The corpse was taken to the county coroner's office.
Lieutenant Joe Bale of Los Angeles County Coroner's office said Scott's death was being treated as a suicide.
Scott leaves behind his supermodel wife Donna and their twin boys. He was also on the board of Scott Free Productions - a film company set up with his brother - which had a film named 'Killing Lincoln' in production.
Born in North Shields, in Northumberland, in 1944, Tony Scott's first feature-length film as a director was the 1983 vampire drama 'The Hunger' starring David Bowie. The film, though now a cult favourite, was poorly received sending the director back to commercials and music videos. Three years later his star power hit an international high with aviation thriller 'Top Gun' - a film which solidified Tom Cruise's rise to the top and became one of the biggest hits of the decade.
Famed for his multiple camera set-ups and dynamic shooting style, numerous other action films followed including 'Beverly Hills Cop 2', 'Days of Thunder', 'The Last Boy Scout', 'True Romance', 'Crimson Tide', 'The Fan', 'Spy Game', 'Man on Fire' and 'Domino'. Frequently working with Denzel Washington, Scott's final film was 'Unstoppable' which starred Washington (in their fifth collaboration) and Chris Pine as occupants of a runaway train.
The English director has several projects in pre-production: 'Top Gun 2' was announced with Tom Cruise returning, as was a project entitled 'Emma's War'.
A spokeswoman for the filmmaker, Katherine Rowe, said in a brief statement, "I can confirm that Tony Scott has indeed passed away," adding only, "The family asks that their privacy be respected at this time."
Tributes from co-workers and fans poured in on Twitter:
Stephen Fry wrote "Deeply saddened to hear the news about Tony Scott. A fine film-maker and the most charming, modest man."
Peter Fonda added: "Wow! Such sadness. Tony Scott, brilliant film director died. Man On Fire! Great motion picture w/Denzel Washington."
'Moon' director Duncan Jones: "Awww Tony. Wish you had felt there was a way to keep going. What a sad waste. My thoughts go out to his wife and beautiful children."
Ron Howard: "No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day"
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