Some sad and shocking news, director and producer Tony Scott took his own life on Sunday afternoon. It was reported that he drove his black Toyota Prius to the Vincent Thomas Bridge in the San Pedro port district of Los Angeles, parked on the left side of the bridge and then jumped off without hesitation; ending his life at the age of 68. A suicide note was allegedly left in his office.
Tony was the younger brother of prolific director Ridley Scott. Tony Scott, in his own right, had a hugely successful career that spanned more than three decades. The influential director’s last big film was the runaway-train action movie, Unstoppable, with Denzel Washington, who was a frequent collaborator. As soon as I had heard the news via Twitter, Sunday evening, I immediately sent a text informing two of my friends, a pair of guys who are also film fanatics yet are wildly sardonic. The stunning news was met with a collective, “Holy shit!”
I say this without hyperbole, True Romance and Top Gun are perfect movies. I don’t care what anybody else says. True Romance is easily a Top Ten film for me. It makes you pause when somebody with that much talent, a director with such a contemporary style that influenced many to mimic, a person with that extensive body of work—takes their own life. Just look at this partial list of his films: Beverly Hills Cop II, Days of Thunder, The Last Boy Scout, Crimson Tide, The Fan, Enemy of the State, Spy Game, Man on Fire, Domino, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. Some of these films were astronomic commercial successes. I would bet that everyone that I know has seen at least one Tony Scott film in their lifetime. If not, then you have been living under a pop cultural rock.
Suicide and depression (and I’m making an assumption here that this was a possible factor) are awful things. What makes the situation more somber was that Scott, one of the top commercial filmmakers of our time, left behind a wife, actress Donna W. Scott, and two children, twins Frank and Max; not to mention his friends, fans and colleagues. It is dreary news to start the week; I believe he had several more good films within him, he will be completely missed. Our thoughts go out to Tony Scott’s, surely devastated, families.
No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) August 20, 2012
Love ya Tony, always have, always will
— Christian Slater (@ChristianSlate4) August 20, 2012
- The New York Times: ‘Top Gun’ Director Dies After Jumping Off Bridge
- Los Angeles Times: ‘Top Gun’ director Tony Scott jumps to his death from L.A. bridge
- CNN: Official: British director Tony Scott dead after jumping from California bridge
- BBC: Hollywood director Tony Scott jumps to death from bridge
- Vulture: Director Tony Scott Jumps Off L.A. Bridge in Apparent Suicide
- Deadline Hollywood: Director-Producer Tony Scott Jumped To Death From San Pedro Bridge In Suicide
- LA Weekly: Tony Scott Jumps to Death From Vincent Thomas Bridge
- A.V. Club: R.I.P. Tony Scott
- NPR: ‘I Function Off Fear,’ Said Director Tony Scott, Who Died Sunday
- from June 12, 2009: Esquire: The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3: Tony Scott Likes It Loud, Fast, and Profane
- HitFix: Director Tony Scott’s career remembered
- from November 12, 2010: GQ: The Great Scott
- Uproxx: The Best of True Romance (GIFs)