Director Tony Scott Jumps to His Death From Los Angeles Bridge
Tony Scott, the director of high-octane blockbusters like “Top Gun,” jumped to his death from a Los Angeles bridge on Sunday. He was 68.
The authorities are investigating his death as a suicide, said Lt. Joseph Bale of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Lt. Bale said Mr. Scott jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge over Los Angeles Harbor at about 12:30 local time Sunday afternoon.
It was not immediately clear what would have driven Mr. Scott to commit suicide. The Los Angeles Times reported that investigators later found a suicide note in Mr. Scott’s office.
Lt. Tim Nordquist of the Los Angeles Police Department told The Associated Press that several 911 calls were made around 12:35 p.m. on Sunday to report that someone had jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge, which connects the San Pedro district of Los Angeles to Terminal Island. Lt. Nordquist said that a police dive team was dispatched and retrieved Mr. Scott’s body, which was transported to the county coroner’s office.
With his brother the director Ridley Scott, he ran a production company called Scott Free Productions. Among his most recent work was the 2010 action film “Unstoppable,” starring Denzel Washington, with whom he often worked.
Tony Scott, who was known for sporting a weathered red baseball cap, will likely be remembered most for his seminal action adventure films of years past, especially “Top Gun,” which starred Tom Cruise and was one of the highest-grossing films when it was released in 1986, earning nearly $345 million worldwide, according to IMDb.
His other films included “Enemy of the State,” “Déjà Vu,” “Days of Thunder” and “Crimson Tide.” He and his brother were working on a film adaptation of Bill O’Reilly’s book “Killing Lincoln,” set to be released next year.
Mr. Scott won an Emmy award as the executive producer of the 2002 television movie “The Gathering Storm” about Winston Churchill in the years leading up to World War II.
Anthony David Scott was born in North Shields, a town on the northeast coast of England, on June 21, 1944. As a teenager he made his movie debut — as an actor — in a short film, “Boy and Bicycle,” directed by Ridley Scott. After studying at many of the same schools that Ridley attended, Tony Scott graduated from London’s Royal College of Art and joined a television production company that Ridley had started. Tony Scott earned some of his earliest directing credits on TV commercials, episodic series and music videos before overseeing his first feature, the vampire movie “The Hunger,” in 1983.
Mr. Scott’s death on Sunday led to an online outpouring of emotion and remembrances from performers and filmmakers who had worked with him or were inspired by his work.
David Krumholtz, an actor who starred on the CBS television series “Numb3rs,” wrote in a post on his Twitter account about being directed in an episode by Mr. Scott, who was also a producer of the series.
“I had come to know Tony as a warm, enthusiastic and whimsical general with great vision and pride for his work and for the art of action,” Mr. Krumholtz wrote. He added:
After a few takes, I still couldn’t get it right. It felt odd to look up while I was talking to the seated F.B.I. agents in the room. Finally, Tony walked in and said, “David, just imagine that you’re talking to God. And God has all the money. In order to get the money, you gotta talk to God. GOD AND MONEY!!! GOD AND MONEY!!!” He skipped off set, in the way that he did, keeping me energized, and firmly strapped into his roller coaster ride of film making.
Duncan Jones, the director of films like “Source Code” and “Moon,” and who got an early career break doing camerawork for Mr. Scott’s television series “The Hunger,” wrote in a Twitter post: “Tony was a truly lovely man who took me under his wing & ignited my passion to make films.” Mr. Jones added: “Wish you had felt there was a way to keep going.”
Edgar Wright, the director of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” wrote on his Twitter account: “Tony Scott was a rambunctious cinematic spirit.” He added: “As I hope was evident in my work, I was big fan of his. Rest In Peace, sir.”