UPDATE: Earlier reports that claimed Tony Scott was suffering from inoperable brain cancer are currently unconfirmed, with Deadline reporting — via Scott's widow, Donna — that this was not the case at all. A full investigation is underway and an autopsy is pending.
Tony Scott, director of such hit films as "Top Gun," "Crimson Tide" and "Man on Fire," has died after jumping off a bridge in San Pedro, Calif., on Sunday afternoon, Los Angeles police tell the Los Angeles Times. He was 68.
Earlier reports say a suicide note was found in Scott's car, which was parked on the bridge. The note actually contained contact information, with investigators later finding a suicide note at his office.
Law enforcement officials say that several witnesses saw Scott climb over a fence on the bridge and jump off without hesitation. His body was pulled out of the water by Los Angeles Police Department, California Highway Patrol and U.S. Coast Guard officials.
"I can confirm that Mr. Scott has indeed passed away. The family asks that their privacy be respected at this time," a spokesman said in an emailed statement.
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Tony Scott was the younger brother of fellow filmmaker Ridley Scott, with whom he founded the production company, Scott Free. After directing several high-profile commercials, he turned his focus to feature films and made his directorial debut with "The Hunger" (1983), a pop art vampire drama starring Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie and Susan Sarandon.
"The Hunger" would go on to earn a cult following, but Scott really hit the big time with his second feature, "Top Gun" (1986), a perfectly timed Reagan-era summer blockbuster that inspired real-life Navy enlistments to go through the roof. Scott went on to direct the following summer's biggest hit, "Beverly Hills Cop II" (1987).
From there, Scott went on to work with Kevin Costner on the nasty vengeance thriller, "Revenge" (1990), and reunited with Tom Cruise for the NASCAR drama, "Days of Thunder" (1990). He worked with Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans in one of 1991's top guilty pleasures, "The Last Boy Scout," and worked with screenwriter Quentin Tarantino in the 1993 cult favorite, "True Romance."
Scott would begin what would end up being a long-term working relationship with star Denzel Washington with "Crimson Tide" (1995), a Cold War thriller set almost entirely on board a submarine. Scott then worked with Robert De Niro and Wesley Snipes in "The Fan" (1996) and reunited with "Crimson Tide" co-star Gene Hackman in the political thriller starring Will Smith, "Enemy of the State" (1998).
After working with Robert Redford and Brad Pitt on another political thriller, "Spy Game" (2001), Scott worked almost exclusively with Denzel Washington, with their second collaboration being the intense kidnapping thriller, "Man on Fire" (2004). They took a break long enough for Scott to direct the Keira Knightley action flick, "Domino" (2005), and then went on to the sci-fi mystery thriller, "Deja Vu" (2006). They also collaborated on the remake of "The Taking of Pelham 123" (2009) and last collaborated on the runaway train drama, "Unstoppable" (2010), co-starring Chris Pine.
At the time of his death, Tony Scott had several film projects in development, including his longtime dream project, "Potsdamer Platz," and a sequel to "Top Gun."
The Films of Tony Scott
Originally published on August 20, 2012 at 12:52 am.