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You are in: Hampshire > People > Profiles > Tributes to Anthony Minghella

Anthony Minghella

Tributes to Anthony Minghella

Oscar-winning film director and writer Anthony Minghella has died at the age of 54. Throughout his distinguished career he never lost touch with his strong connections with the Isle of Wight where he grew up.

54-year old Anthony Minghella died in hospital on Tuesday 18 March. He suffered a fatal haemorrhage after a operation on his neck.

Anthony Minghella was born on the Island to an Italian immigrant family. He sold ice cream at their family business in Ryde and went on to become the country's finest screen writers and directors.

In 1996 he won an Oscar for directing The English Patient and was also Oscar-nominated for writing the screenplay for 1999's The Talented Mr Ripley.

In his Oscar speech he referred to his Isle of Wight roots saying: "This has been a triumph for the Isle of Wight."  He was made the Isle of Wight's first honorary Freeman the following year.

Anthony Minghella

Anthony Minghella at his parent's home.

Minghella's other films included Truly, Madly, Deeply and Cold Mountain and he had only just stepped down as chairman of the British Film Institute.

BBC South recorded a special interview with Anthony Minghella in March 2005 when he returned to his family home on the Isle of Wight.  He recalled how he grew up above his parent's busy ice-cream shop and how he shot his first film around Ryde Pier.

He was also keen to support local film-making.  In 2006 he opened Bournemouth Screen Academy which provides master classes, summer schools and online learning programmes to develop the south's future screen talent.

Anthony and Gloria Minghella

Anthony Minghella with his mother, Gloria

Hollywood glamour was brought to the Island as many of Anthony Minghella's films were premiered at the Medina Theatre, raising money for local charities.

University of Southampton Film Studies Professor Linda Ruth Williams paid tribute to Anthony Minghella, who was awarded an honorary degree by the university in 2000.

"He went from growing up in the Isle of Wight and having a local education to completing astonishing work in British stage and cinema and then becoming an international Hollywood director, so he's a hugely important figure."

"He was a stellar director of performances.  He was able to tease astonishing performances from star actors."

Anthony Minghella also directed a TV episode of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, due to be screened this Easter on BBC One.  The 90-minute pilot was co-written with Richard Curtis.

Your memories and tributes to Anthony Minghella

Cees Dekker, Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands
Can't remember if it was “1066 and all that” but I do recall Sandown Grammar School performing at my school (the ‘Juvenaat H. Hart’ in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands) back in the early 70s. Sandown’s pupils stayed with the families of my fellow students, Simon and Gareth stayed with me and my parents. Don’t know where Anthony was lodged but I do know that he’s the only one I still remember after all these years, made quite an impression even at that stage and age. Indeed a great loss.

Mac, Burbage, Leics
anthony will be sorely missed, by the film world, and his beloved portsmouth, of which he was a great fan, wherever he was he would follow p.f.c

Sue Lane, Northampton
Does anyone else remember "1066 and all that" that Anthony was involved in whilst still at Sandown Grammar School?  It was performed at Shanklin Theatre in the early 1970's if my memory serves me well.  No one who knew him was surprised at his later success.

Jane Atkinson, Barrow on Soar, Leicestershire
I didn't meet Anthony, but admired his artistry in film. His expansive mind and vision. I'd like to pay tribute to him. What a huge, sad loss.

Gemma Dempsey, London/Los Angeles
I was fortunate to have met Anthony Minghella a number of times and on each occasion was so impressed by the genuine warmth of his  personality, his deep passion for films/music/literary works  and his commitment to the arts - particularly in nurturing actors/writers /artists /the film making community.  I don't know when one qualifies as being a national treasure -and he would probably baulk at the term given his self-less personality - but I would actually consider him an international treasure and one that will be much missed both on a human level and as a true artist who gave so much through his work and support of others in the profession. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Charles Elder, Bournemouth University
I was very privileged to meet Mr Minghella on the many occasions he visited Bournemouth University from whom he was also honoured with an Honorary Doctorate. He was a gracious, gentle man who was superb at bringing out the best in others and fantastic at sharing his own talents with the world. He will be missed so much by those of us who knew him and by those who will see his work in years to come and wish they had met him themselves. 

Jacqui Adams
As a fellow Islander who went to the same school as Anthony Minghella, and who moved away from the Island as he did, I have always felt a sense of pride that we shared this same connection . I followed his career closely so to hear the news today is both shocking and deeply sad. I am only 2 years younger than him. My heart goes out to his family. When my sister and I were little my Mum and Dad took us to Anthony's parent's ice cream parlour/coffee shop and my Dad would often chat to his Mum and Dad. They are lovely people. We have robbed of a great story teller/film maker and a lovely man.

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last updated: 14/04/2008 at 15:26
created: 18/03/2008

You are in: Hampshire > People > Profiles > Tributes to Anthony Minghella

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