Tony Scott, 1944–2012
Chris Pine, left, and Denzel Washington in Unstoppable.
Tony Scott, the director of Top Gun, Crimson Tide and many other hit Hollywood movies, is dead at 68. The filmmaker leapt yesterday from the Vincent Thomas Bridge, which links San Pedro, Los Angeles and Terminal Island. In his office, authorities found a suicide note, the details of which have not been disclosed. Reports that Scott was suffering from terminal brain cancer remain unconfirmed as of this writing.
The younger brother of director Ridley Scott—with whom he co-owned the film production company Scott Free—Tony was one of the most influential blockbuster craftsmen of the last 25 years. For better or worse, his jittery, hyper-kinetic approach to action filmmaking inspired countless imitators and disciples. One can see traces of his stylistic DNA in much of what constitutes modern adrenaline-junkie cinema.
Commercially speaking, he was a giant of the industry, commanding enormous budgets and directing a decades-spanning list of notable event movies: not just that quintessential, '80s-tastic Tom Cruise vehicle Top Gun (1986), but also the hit sequel Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), the Quentin Tarantino–penned True Romance (1993), prophetic techno-conspiracy thriller Enemy of the State (1998) and five films starring Denzel Washington.