Hollywood director Tony Scott dies
The 68-year-old British director of Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II and Crimson Tide, among other films, leaped from the Vincent Thomas bridge spanning San Pedro and Terminal Island at 12.30pm local time on Sunday.
Authorities found a suicide note in his car, a black Toyota Prius, which was parked on one of the bridge's eastbound lanes, a coastguard spokesperson, Lieutenant Jennifer Osburn, told reporters.
Several witnesses reportedly saw him climb a fence on the south sid eof the bridge's apex. He "jumped without hesitation", said official sources quoted in the Daily Breeze.
The Los Angeles police department, California highway patrol, firefighters and the coastguard searched the water for his body. Cargo vessels slowed during passage through the main channel so as to minimise disturbance.
Sonar equipment helped divers locate and recover the body around 4.30pm. It was taken to a dock in Wilmington. A county coroner confirmed the identity later on Sunday evening.
The news left Hollywood bewildered. Scott, the younger brother of Ridley, also a director and his production partner, had made big-budget features and worked with A-list stars over a long career.
Rarely seen without his trademark red baseball cap, he had collaborated with Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Robert De Niro and Gene Hackman, among others, in action movies and thrillers. Hits included The Taking of Pelham 123, Man on Fire, The Last Boy Scout, Enemy of the State and True Romance.
One of Scott's most recent productions, made with his brother, was Coma, a four-hour medical thriller due for release next month on A&E.
There was no immediate explanation for why Scott, who grew up by the river Tyne in north England and followed Ridley into advertising, then film, should have taken his own life.
Tributes immediately flowed on Twitter. "No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day," tweeted the director Ron Howard. "RIP Tony Scott. So sad to hear this," said the documentary maker Morgan Spurlock. "We are absolutely devastated by the passing of director Tony Scott. He will be truly missed," said a statement from Tribeca Film.
Film director Duncan Jones, who directed Moon and Source Code, tweeted: "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." Jones 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."
Scott was married to Donna Scott, who had starred alongside Tom Cruise in Scott's 1990 film Days of Thunder. The couple had twin boys, Frank and Max.
The director, whose full name was Anthony David Scott, lived in Beverly Hills, about 30 miles north from Long Island and the Vincent Thomas bridge, a 1 500ft structure built in 1963 to augment ferry services between San Pedro and Terminal Island.
In 1990 Larry Andreasen, a former Olympic diver who sought to break records for high dives, was killed by diving from the west tower of the bridge, a reported drop of 385ft. – © Guardian News and Media 2012
- The Hunger (1982)
- Top Gun (1986)
- Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)
- Revenge (1990)
- Days of Thunder (1990)
- The Last Boy Scout (1991)
- True Romance (1993)
- Crimson Tide (1995)
- The Fan (1996)
- Enemy of the State (1998)
- Spy Game (2001)
- Man on Fire (2004)
- Domino (2005)
- Déjà Vu (2006)
- The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
- Unstoppable (2010)
Scott was also co-producer with his brother Ridley of successful TV series like The Good Wife and Numb3rs.