Hollywood director Tony Scott jumps to death from bridge

  • Published
Media caption,
The BBC's Peter Bowes: ''This death is a great shock to Hollywood''

Hollywood director Tony Scott, famous for films including Top Gun, has died after jumping from a bridge in Los Angeles, authorities have said.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's office said Scott's death was being investigated as a suicide.

British-born Scott, brother of Alien director Ridley, shot to fame in the 1980s with a string of action films.

The 68-year-old's films included Crimson Tide, Days of Thunder and True Romance.

He also directed Enemy of the State and Beverly Hills Cop II.

"I can confirm that Tony Scott has passed away. The family asks that their privacy is respected at this time," Scott's spokesman, Simon Halls, said in a statement.

The coroner said Scott jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge, which spans San Pedro and Terminal Island in Los Angeles.

Lt Joe Bale, from the coroner's office, said the director was seen parking his car and jumping into the water at about 12:30 (19:30 GMT) on Sunday.

His body was recovered from the harbour less than three hours later. A note was found in his car and another in his office, but it is not clear what they contained.

"We will go where the facts take us. We have no reason to believe it was not a suicide," Lt Bale told the BBC.

He said a post-mortem had not yet been performed.

Actress Keira Knightley, who starred in his 2005 film Domino, said: "Tony Scott was one of the most extraordinary, imaginative men I ever worked with. It was a privilege to have spent the time I did with him. He was a fire cracker and one of the world's true originals."

Fellow director Ron Howard said on Twitter: "No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day."

Sin City director Robert Rodriguez tweeted: "Damn. Great knowing you, buddy. Thanks for the inspiration, advice, encouragement, and the decades of great entertainment."

Duncan Jones, director of Source Code and Moon, said: "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."

Actor Elijah Wood added on Twitter: "Awful news about Tony Scott. Rest in peace."

Stephen Fry wrote: "Deeply saddened to hear the news about Tony Scott. A fine film-maker and the most charming, modest man."

A statement from Pinewood and Shepperton studios chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said he and colleagues were "deeply saddened to learn of the tragic news".

"He was not only an incredibly gifted filmmaker and ambassador for the UK film industry, he was a significant part of the history of Shepperton Studios," said Dunleavy.

"He directed some of the most successful films of all time and at Shepperton these included The Hunger (1981), Spy Game (2001) and Tony most recently produced Prometheus (2012) directed by his brother Ridley.

Media caption,
Chris Hewitt: Scott was "really pushing the envelope of how a modern action film looks"

"He will be sadly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time."

Scott, born in North Shields in north-east England, was famous for his fast-paced blockbusters, and carved out a distinctive style to his films using fast editing and digital effects.

He made a number of films with actor Denzel Washington, including Man on Fire and most recently Unstoppable. More recently, he had been producing for television - including hit legal drama The Good Wife on CBS - as well as films.

Bafta chairman Tim Corrie said: "He was a true pioneer. A great film-maker and a wonderful human being. He will be sorely missed by people all over the world.

"History will probably always link him with his brother which considering their lifelong partnership is right ... but Tony had his own style and will stand tall in the history of British film-makers."

At the time of his death, he was rumoured to be working with Tom Cruise on a sequel to Top Gun.

He had recently completed filming on Out of the Furnace, a drama he was producing about an ex-convict starring Christian Bale. The movie is due to come out next year.

He was married three times and had twin sons with his third wife, Donna Wilson.