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Tony Scott Dies
The director was 68

20 August 2012  |  Written by James White  

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Some shocking and tragic news emerged from California on Sunday: veteran film director Tony Scott died by apparent suicide at the age of 68.

Scott was born in North Shields in 1944, the younger brother of fellow director (and, later, business partner) Ridley. His earliest foray into film was in front of the camera, not behind it, appearing at the age of 16 in Ridley’s directorial debut, a short film called Boy And Bicycle. He graduated from the Royal College Of Art, intending to become a painter, but was tempted into film and TV by his brother.

Launching his career crafting adverts for Ridley Scott Associates, he made his directing debut on television with an adaptation of Henry James’ The Author Of Beltraffio in France. But what he really wanted to do was make movies, and Scott tried for several years to get a version of Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire. MGM instead persuaded him to shoot The Hunger, which he made in 1982. The film was not a success on release and Scott returned to making ads for a couple of years.

But in 1985, producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer – who admired The Hunger – approached him to make Top Gun, primarily because they’d liked his work on a Saab advert that showed a Saab 900 racing a jet. The movie hit cinemas in 1986, became a massive hit and made a star out of Tom Cruise.

With his career launched anew, Scott would go on to direct the likes of Beverly Hills Cop II, The Last Boy Scout, True Romance, Crimson Tide, Enemy Of The State, Spy Game, Domino, The Taking Of Pelham 123 and, most recently, runaway train drama Unstoppable, starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine.

Along with his directing career, Scott and his brother became prolific producers in both film and television, helping a raft of younger filmmakers get their projects out into the world. At the time of his death, he was juggling several projects, including a planned Top Gun sequel, real-life drama Shadow Divers, biker pic Hell’s Angels and action drama Lucky Strike. According to the Daily Breeze, Scott left a suicide note in his car before jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge near Long Beach.

Talking to Empire around Domino’s release in 2005, Scott said, “I’m getting younger as I get older. It's also a fear of losing the touch, which is why I keep fucking going. Whether you like the movie or don't like it, as long as people continue to pay me to continue to experiment, I'll keep doing that. I do a lot of research and I get paid to touch these other worlds and I want to keep trying to touch these new worlds and bring them to the screen, whether it's the 18th Street Gang or the Vietnamese Gang, or bounty hunting or whatever it is. I love what I do.”

He’s survived by his wife, Donna, and two children. Our thoughts go out to his entire family.


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Your Comments

A TRUE LEGEND
I have never bothered to comment on anything before on the internet, but hearing this news is so tragic. Tony Scott is my favourite director of all time, he has made some absolute classics, just so sad that there won't be any more. RIP. More

Posted by matthewjb at 22:38 on 22 August 2012 | Report This Post

A great filmaker
It's rare that I would want to comment online but I have felt so sad about the news that Tony Scott is no longer with us. He helmed so many fine Hollywood movies that he managed to elevate the whole genre. I share a love of many the films noted in the comments here. The circumstances that surround his end strike me as truely tragic. I hope his films are treasured for many years to come. More

Posted by whakawarewar at 14:20 on 21 August 2012 | Report This Post

Many obituaries are casting Scott as some sort of expensive hack, churning out mindless, yet entertaining, blockbusters for the mass market; a crass equivalent of his refined sibling. Such a characterisation is wide of the mark. The likes of Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State and Unstoppable are tense, expertly crafted and thrilling action films which positively shit on the kind of rubbish produced in that genre every year. With Man on Fire however Scott unleashed a hugely accomplished, relentl More

Posted by Eomer_King at 12:26 on 21 August 2012 | Report This Post

Have to echo other posts. Woke this morning to hear this dreadful news. Even as just a random voice over the internet, I can't help but feel real sadness for Tony and his family. For me personally it was his film True Romance that leaves a lasting impression, I absolutely love that film, and for what its worth I am gonna watch it now with a glass of whisky and quietly salute one accomplished fellow Brit. More

Posted by TweedBriefs at 00:29 on 21 August 2012 | Report This Post

Have to echo other posts. Woke this morning to hear this dreadful news. Even as just a random voice over the internet, I can't help but feel real sadness for Tony and his family. For me personally it was his film True Romance that leaves a lasting impression, I absolutely love that film, and for what its worth I am gonna watch it now with a glass of whisky and quietly salute one accomplished fellow Brit. More

Posted by TweedBriefs at 00:28 on 21 August 2012 | Report This Post

Have to echo other posts. Woke this morning to hear this dreadful news. Even as just a random voice over the internet, I can't help but feel real sadness for Tony and his family. For me personally it was his film True Romance that leaves a lasting impression, I absolutely love that film, and for what its worth I am gonna watch it now with a glass of whisky and quietly salute one accomplished fellow Brit. More

Posted by TweedBriefs at 00:26 on 21 August 2012 | Report This Post

Awful to lose such a wonderful artist
So genuinely gutted. I utterly adore Crimson Tide, Man on Fire and Spy Games, and admire all of his other films for his unique style. Sir Ridley tried it with Body of Lies but failed. You only had to watch the recent bland Safe House to realise how incredible T.Scott and Denzel were together. His producer collaborations with his brother were also fantastic - Into the Storm just being one example - so so sad to lose this legend, mind boogling to understand why but I hope that it only inspires Sir More

Posted by Blyman at 00:22 on 21 August 2012 | Report This Post

Awful to lose such a wonderful artist
So genuinely gutted. I utterly adore Crimson Tide, Man on Fire and Spy Games, and admire all of his other films for his unique style. Sir Ridley tried it with Body of Lies but failed. You only had to watch the recent bland Safe House to realise how incredible T.Scott and Denzel were together. His producer collaborations with his brother were also fantastic - Into the Storm just being one example - so so sad to lose this legend, mind boogling to understand why but I hope that it only inspires Sir More

Posted by Blyman at 00:19 on 21 August 2012 | Report This Post

Top Gun was rubbish. He Was not.
Look Top Gun was propaganda, but Tony Scott 's legacy is astonishing when you see what he made. True Romance is timeless, Crimson Tide his War Masterpiece and Man On Fire THE REVENGE film More

Posted by Leightwinst at 00:05 on 21 August 2012 | Report This Post

Populist film director''s death - a great loss to his family & fans
There were times when he seemed to be working in the shadow of his more successful brother, Ridley. But Tony Scott had his own inimitable, gorgeously visual and kinetic style which elevated such popcorn fodder as Top Gun and Enemy of the State. Crimson Tide and True Romance were high points of his career, which will surely withstand repeated viewings. There must be many actors out there - Washington, Cruise, Smith - who should feel indebted to him after working with him and receiving a boost More

Posted by Bill Marcus at 22:35 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: R.I.P. Tony Scott
Very sad news. Maybe Scott never made a truly great film, but never made a truly bad one either and every single one of his films was very enjoyable. I actually feel his work bettered that of his brother the last decade or so, it was certainly more consistent, and so many other directors have mimicked his trend-setting style but few can do it nearly as well. You knew what you were getting with a T Scott film and he never let you down. ITrue Romance, Beverly Hills Cop 2 o, Deja Vu, the underra More

Posted by Dr Lenera at 21:51 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

R.I.P. Tony Scott
What a loss.One of the greatest action director of all time. my favourite Tony Scott films Crimson Tide,Man On Fire,Enemy Of The State,True Romance.Thoughts go out to his family. More

Posted by HICKSD at 21:35 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RIP A True Visualist.
Sad news indeed, his visual style has been mimicked for a long, long time and has always dictated the route of how many an action film would follow. A true experimentalist and innovator for the visual format of cinema. Rest In Peace, you will be missed. More

Posted by Rich Empire at 20:38 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Tony Scott Has Died
When i saw the headline, i immediately assumed he had passed away due to some illness.Have to say im shocked that he took his own life in such a manner.Very, very sad indeed.A very talented filmaker who will be missed. RIP Tony. More

Posted by Cool Breeze at 19:37 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Tony Scott Has Died
Man on Fire has got to be one of my favourite films. Also loved Top Gun, Domino and True Romance, I've always been meaning to get the latter on DVD but never got round to it. He was always compared with Ridley, but I still think he was a great filmmaker. He really knew how to deliver a solid blockbuster. Such awful news. More

Posted by paul.mccluskey at 19:12 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Tragic loss of a great inspiration. I respected his work and along with his brother they remind me that talent is as powerful as money in the movie business. He gave me hope. My thoughts are with his family. More

Posted by kisswithatear at 18:10 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

God bless you and keep you Tony Scott
A really talented director, he shared his brother's eye for beautiful visuals, but married to a knack for punchy, visceral action. I think 'True Romance' was his best film. I even found a lot to enjoy in 'The Fan' which has one of the most moving endings ever in a so-called 'popcorn' movie. More

Posted by TheMadFatChickKiller at 17:28 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Sad day. RIP
What a sad loss. The Hunger is one of my favourite films of all time and set the template for Tony's stunning visual style in his following movies. In my opinion he was doing some of his best work before he died. Tony I will miss your talent and the films you never made :( More

Posted by akivo at 16:00 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Sad day. RIP
lyd? More

Posted by bosscoe at 15:45 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

True Romance is a favourite, and his masterpiece. A sad loss. More

Posted by LSJShez at 14:46 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Wow. Just wow. Can't believe it. More

Posted by clarkkent at 14:32 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Legend
Sad news, but what a legacy of cinema. Legend and artist. A unique visual style, you always know when you're watching a Tony Scott joint. Despite the action, always understood the importance of actors and star power. Deja Vu is his masterpiece, a thoughtful, gripping, hard edged classic. More

Posted by BatSpider at 13:11 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Eulogy
The eyes of Gods never die... The words sorry and symapthy get use alot when people pass, however I will just say Thankyou... Thankyou for epic films which let me escape the world as a young boy, for making me feel I was flying in a Jet, Thankyou for engaging with my teens, through a hail of bullets on the run from the mob with a beautiful girl by my side, Thankyou for showing me as a film maker how to show the emotion of a little girl about to be kidnapped through a series of ballis More

Posted by Alex M... at 13:09 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Very Sad
And what now for Ridley, and Scott Free productions? More

Posted by stevos at 12:49 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Sad and shocking beyond belief. Grew up to Crimson Tide and Enemy of State. Loved his later work as well, you could always count on a Tony Scott film to be at least, entertaining. He always seemed so gentle and intelligent in interviews. Very sad. More

Posted by TolkenHobbitGuy at 12:28 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Tony Scott Has Died
My Condolences to Ridley and the rest of the Scott Family. He made some great films. RIP More

Posted by NCC1701A at 12:13 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

So sad.
Just this Summer i watched Taking of Pelham 123, and rewatched Man on Fire. Really reminded me that Scott was still a great talent. True Romance is one of the best films ever made, and very under appreciated. I just cant get over this. With Ridley making a comeback with Prometheus, i thought Tony would make his with Top Gun 2. More

Posted by VwikusM at 12:06 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Shit. RIP Tony.
The Last Boy Scout and Man On Fire are awesome films. This is really sad. More

Posted by sowasred2012 at 11:12 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Great Films To Be Remembered By.
Very sad. "I am the captin of this ship". 'Cause you, you're part eggplant. More

Posted by burtbondy at 10:48 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

great loss. he was the master of action films in my view.
jesus, forgot he directed "the last boyscout" what a great movie that was. the denzel washington ones stood out to me. man on fire was great. More

Posted by simjamlmx at 10:47 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RIP Tony
Really sad news, this, and it's nice to see so many messages. Last Boy Scout and True Romance are two of my all-time faves. Much love...Hope there's a big director's chair in the sky... More

Posted by thechair at 10:44 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: sad news
Shocking and sad, though I can't believe he'd really take his own life like that. RIP. More

Posted by Bloke from Oz at 10:31 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

sad news
RIP Tony Scott. I've seen 13 of your movies, all entertaining and good in their own ways More

Posted by Paulieman at 10:28 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Tony Scott
RIP Tony Scott. You will be missed. Your 80/90's films were the soundtrack to my life. True Romance....probably my favourite film ever. RIP More

Posted by rosalind14 at 10:25 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Tony Scott
I hope that his funeral is amazingly well lit and that jets fly low overhead to an essential 80s track. see ya man and thanks for the movies. More

Posted by BookManFilm at 10:13 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Such a tragedy
Thankyou for all your films Tony. They have truly been an inspiration, works of action art and beauty and ajoy to behold. A truly sad day and a great loss. More

Posted by coomi77 at 10:08 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Tony Scott Has Died
This was really sad news to wake up to. Ruined my Monday right from the start. loved True Romance, and as cheesy as it is, Top Gun is still a 'how to' on how to make an action blockbuster. My condolences to Ridley and the rest of the Scott family. More

Posted by AxlReznor at 10:04 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

A great loss
What a talented guy. Another light gone out. Rest in peace Tony, you're going to be missed. Thanks for all the great films. More

Posted by nikihb at 09:57 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

A very talented man who leaves behind a fantastic body of work, some of which I count as my most favourite. More

Posted by TOPOI at 09:33 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Tony Scott Has Died
RIP. What a loss. He was without a doubt one of the best action directors of all time, and a huge favourite of mine. He continued to influence me in my work and I'm sure will continue to do so long after this sad day. One of the great things I loved about his films was the way they perfectly balanced entertainment and emotion. You knew what he was up to, but you didn't mind. It was one ride after another. Thoughts to his loved ones. More

Posted by jrewing1000 at 09:25 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

R.I.P.
as always with someone taking his own life,nobody understands why,its a schok for everyone,i feel sad for tony and everyone he left behind! may he have found the peace he was looking for and my conolences to his family friends and al loved ones! a great los for the arts and a great los for the world! More

Posted by peredebeeste at 09:25 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE:
Just found out about it such a shock thoughts go out to his family. R.I.P TONY THANKS FOR THE GREAT MEMORIES. More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 09:22 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

A very talented man who leaves behind a fantastic body of work, some of which I count as my most favourite. More

Posted by TOPOI at 09:18 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Shocking
A sad day More

Posted by 7eke at 09:18 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

FLASHMAN
Nobody has rights to judge this great sadness, but what a tremendous work ethic & exceptional body of popular work; much is made of him being a fine action director, but in film after film, he was an undisputed master of character-driven psychological tension; too many examples to count, but what about that magnificent confrontation in True Romance between Hopper & Walken? A sincere RIP. More

Posted by Frank Comiskey at 09:06 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

A sad loss!
Made many underrated films including Revenge with Kevin Costner and The Hunger. Also made excellent films such as Crimson Tide and True Romance. My thoughts go out to Ridley, this is a very sad loss to te film industry! More

Posted by dannyfletch at 08:47 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Rest In Peace
If I had to pick one film that changed my life, it would be True Romance. Tony Scott was a tremendously talented man, he will be missed. More

Posted by Roll at 08:42 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Shocking, tragic news.
No words for it. More

Posted by kielerkai at 08:42 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Shocked
We're all movie fans on here, and this guy made proper crowd pleaser movies. Somewhere in his filmography there's a movie for everyone. Personally I loved Man On Fire and Crimson Tide. RIP Tony Scott. More

Posted by The Bantam Menace at 08:41 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Bridge Over Troubled Water
Wow, shocking news to wake up to about Tony Scott. I enjoyed his movies, such a waste. Depression is in the Scott family, Ridley calls it "the Black Dog" and feels he has to stay active to keep ahead of it (he'd often get his sons out of bed to move furniture around at odd hours). Tony Scott was rich, famous and successful, but depression can strike anyone at any time. Ridley will miss his brother terribly, but I would never judge anyone who commits suicide. Tony Scott gets my sympathy More

Posted by BenTramer at 08:20 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RIP
RIP More

Posted by BenTramer at 08:20 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Terrible news!
RIP Tony Scott More

Posted by Teamwak at 08:15 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

He Will Be Missed.....
Tony Scott's death is a shock to the entire movie community. Scott's kinetic visual style will never be equalled. Along with his brother Ridley, the 2 of them have made some FANTASTIC blockbusters. VERY underrated director. Prayers & thoughts go out to Ridley and the entire family.......why, Tony......WHY?! More

Posted by jws1272 at 08:08 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
First news I heard when I woke up his morning,what a shock,it begs the question why but guess we'll never know. Loved Man on Fire,True Romance of course, he made some very memorable films,very sad news.. More

Posted by Magenta at 08:07 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE:
Awful news. RIP and condolences to his family More

Posted by Sandros at 08:00 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Very sad news, he made some great movies. I remember watching Beverly Hills Cop 2 on VHS over and over when I was young, time to fire up the DVD for a viewing in tribute to a wonderfully talented man. R.I.P. More

Posted by Mulholland Empire at 07:21 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: RIP
Speechless. Absolutely gutted. Have always championed him on these forums and always looked forward to his films. Loved his audio commentaries and his positive attitude to all of his work. Utterly utterly gobsmacked. ] More

Posted by UTB at 07:20 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RIP
Awful shame, one of the most under-rated directors around. More

Posted by natman_begins at 07:04 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Tony Scott
Horrible news to wake up to.  Very sad. More

Posted by Scruffybobby at 06:54 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Completely shocked. R.I.P. Mr Scott. Condolences to his family. More

Posted by thedirtydozenlives at 06:47 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

RIP
Completely shocked. R.I.P. Mr Scott. My condolences to his family. More

Posted by thedirtydozenlives at 06:44 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Genuinely shocked and saddened
What shocking news to wake up to. Very sad to hear of Tony Scott's death. He made some great, enjoyable movies. The Last Boy Scout and Man on Fire being just two of them. Thoughts are with his loved ones. R.I.P. More

Posted by simon458 at 06:41 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

As a filmmaker he was patchy and uneven. There was lot of bad movies in Tony's filmography but the best ones are pure genre-gold: The Last Boy Scout, True Romance and Crimson Tide. Rest In Peace mr. Scott. More

Posted by Pelle at 06:28 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

What a shock. Very sad news made even sadder by the fact that it was suicide. Thoughts go out to him and his family. RIP Tony. More

Posted by Whistler at 05:34 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post

Tragic news. I've long admired his work and felt he's been a tad overlooked, especially compared to his brother. Don't think I've ever seen a film of his I didn't really like, including Domino. Particularly, I've always felt Spy Game is underrated. More

Posted by badblokebob at 05:30 on 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


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