Film directors mourn Tony Scott

(Reuters) – Fellow filmmakers paid tribute on Monday to Tony Scott, the director of Hollywood hits including “Top Gun” and “Beverly Hills Cop II,” who jumped to his death from a bridge over Los Angeles Harbour.

The man behind critics’ favourite “True Romance” took his own life on Sunday at age 68.

“No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day,” tweeted Ron Howard, director of “The Da Vinci Code.”

“Tony Scott” was among the top-trending topics on Twitter early on Monday, followed by “True Romance,” “Top Gun” and “Crimson Tide,” Scott’s 1995 submarine thriller starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman.

Duncan Jones, who made the acclaimed science fiction movies “Moon” and “Source Code,” wrote on Twitter: “Just heard about Tony Scott news. Horrible … Tony was a truly lovely man who took me under his wing & ignited my passion to make films.

“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.”

British-born Scott, the younger brother of fellow movie-maker Ridley Scott, is survived by his third wife, Donna, with whom he had two children.

According to Lieutenant Joe Bale, a watch commander for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, witnesses saw Scott parking his car on the Vincent Thomas Bridge and leaping into the water at about 12:30 p.m. local time (1930 GMT) on Sunday.

“It was initially reported as a suicide. There was a note in the vehicle for some people to contact, and friends located a note in his office, a suicide note,” Ed Winter, an assistant chief of the L.A. County Coroner’s Office, told Reuters.

He said he was unfamiliar with the exact contents of the note and added that no drugs or alcohol were found in the Toyota Prius that Scott drove to the bridge.

“We’re not releasing any details on the condition of the body at this time,” Winter said.

He said funeral plans were not immediately known and Katherine Rowe, a spokeswoman for the filmmaker, said in a brief statement: “The family asks that their privacy be respected at this time.”


Richard Kelly, who wrote the screenplay for “Domino,” which Scott directed, joined a growing chorus of thousands of online tributes.

“Working with Tony Scott was like a glorious road trip to Vegas on desert back roads, a wild man behind the wheel, grinning,” the “Donnie Darko” director wrote. “I felt safe.

“Tony Scott was the best mentor – when he saw something punk rock that he could slip through the system … he pounced.”

Scott, born in North Shields, Northumberland, in England, was frequently seen behind the camera in his signature faded red baseball cap. He directed more than two dozen movies and television shows and produced nearly 50 titles.

He was best known for muscular but stylish high-octane thrillers that showcased some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in a body of work that dated back to the 1980s and established him as one of the most successful action directors in the business.

He got his start making TV commercials for his older sibling’s London-based production company, Ridley Scott Associates, and moved into films for television and cinema.

His big breakthrough came in the 1986 fighter jet adventure “Top Gun,” which starred Tom Cruise as a hot-shot military pilot, and he followed that with another big hit, the 1987 Eddie Murphy comedy “Beverly Hills Cop II.”

Other notable directing credits include the 1990 racing drama “Days of Thunder,” which also featured Cruise, “Crimson Tide” and the 1998 spy thriller “Enemy of the State,” which paired Hackman and Will Smith.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles and Mike Collett-White in London; Editing by Tom Brown and Eric Beech)

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