Tributes paid to director Tony Scott


Tributes have been paid to British film director Tony Scott after he apparently jumped to his death from a bridge in Los Angeles yesterday.

The 68-year-old, the younger brother of film-maker Ridley Scott, was best known for Hollywood blockbusters, including Top Gun, Days Of Thunder and Beverly Hills Cop II.

Scott jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge spanning San Pedro and Terminal Island in Los Angeles. Lieut Joe Bale of Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said Scott’s death was being treated as a suicide.

A US Coast Guard spokeswoman told local newspaper The Daily Breeze that a suicide note was found inside Scott’s car, a black Toyota Prius, which was found parked on an eastbound lane of the bridge.

Film director Duncan Jones, who directed 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.”

He added: “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.”

Actor Elijah Wood said: “Awful news about Tony Scott. rest in peace.” Director Ron Howard also paid tribute to Scott, writing on Twitter: “No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day.”

Stephen Fry tweeted: “Deeply saddened to hear the news about Tony Scott. A fine film-maker and the most charming, modest man.” Shaun of the Dead film-maker Edgar Wright tweeted: “As I hope was evident in my work, I was big fan of his. Rest In Peace, sir.”

British actress Keira Knightley, who worked with Scott on his 2005 film Domino in which she starred as a bounty hunter, also praised the director, calling him “one of the world’s true originals”.

She said today: “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 firecracker and one of the world’s true originals. My thoughts go to his family.”

Film critic James King said the industry had been left in shock by Scott’s death, adding the director would be remembered for his “edge-of-your-seat thrillers”.

He told Sky News: “Go buy his films, watch his films, and you’ll see an incredibly confident director, so for that person to have taken their own life just seems utterly bizarre.

“I think he’ll be remembered as one of the ultimate action directors. He wasn’t ashamed by that. Maybe some critics had a go at him because his films weren’t intellectually challenging. But when they looked as good as they did, who cares? They were incredibly stylish. He trained in fine art, he was an artist.”

A dive team pulled Scott’s body from the water several hours after members of the public alerted emergency services, having seen him jump from the bridge.

Scott, who lived in Beverly Hills, was married to the actress Donna Scott, with whom he had twin sons.

He ran Scott Free Productions with his brother and the pair were working on a film called Killing Lincoln. Other films produced by Scott included True Romance, Crimson Tide, Enemy Of The State and Man On Fire.

Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of Shepperton Studios, said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic news that Tony Scott has died. He was not only an incredibly gifted film-maker and ambassador for the UK film industry, he was a significant part of the history of Shepperton Studios.

“He directed some of the most successful films of all time and at Shepperton. These included The Hunger (1982), Spy Game (2001) and Tony most recently produced Prometheus (2012), directed by his brother Ridley.

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