Tony Scott, the British-born filmmaker who directed Hollywood blockbusters such as Top Gun, True Romance and Crimson Tide, has died after leaping off a bridge in Los Angeles.
The 68-year-old younger brother of director Ridley Scott took his own life yesterday afternoon after parking his car on the Vincent Thomas Bridge and leaping into the water below, Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office confirmed today.
Fellow filmmakers were among the first to pay tribute to Scott, with Da Vinci code director Ron Howard tweeting “No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day.”
Duncan James who made the acclaimed science fiction films Moon and Source Code also took to Twitter to say “Just heard about Tony Scott news. Horrible… Tony was a truly lovely man who took me under his wing and 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", he added.
Scott, who was born in North Shields, Northumberland in 1944, is survived by his third wife Donna and their twin sons.
Witnesses described seeing Scott park his car on the 56-metre-high bridge overlooking Los Angeles harbour and leaping to his death “without hesitation” at about 12.30pm local time.
Lieutenant Joe Bale, a watch commander for LA’s coroner's office, said Scott’s body was recovered by law enforcement shortly before 3pm.
A note was found in Scott's car that Bale said he believed would turn out to be a suicide note, though he was not familiar with its contents. "Typically, when they find a note in cases like this, it's not a shopping list," he said.
Scott, who was often seen behind the camera wearing his signature red faded baseball cap, has been credited with directing more than 24 films and television programmes, and producing 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 1986 fighter jet adventure Top Gun, which starred Tom Cruise as a hot-shot 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.
Richard Kelly, who wrote the screenplay for Domino which Scott directed, joined a growing chorus 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."