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'Top Gun' director Tony Scott dies in LA
Death of British director, who has died aged 68 after jumping from a bridge in US city, being treated as suicide.
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2012 03:15
Scott, centre, and Denzel Washington, left, worked together on five films between 1995 and 2010 [Reuters]

Tony Scott, the director of Hollywood blockbusters starring the likes of Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Nicole Kidman and Eddie Murphy, has died at the age of 68 after jumping from a bridge in California.

The 68 year old's death on Sunday was being investigated as a suicide, Lieutenant Joe Bale, of the Los Angeles County coroner's office, said.

"I can confirm that Tony Scott has passed away. The family asks that their privacy is respected at this time," Simon Halls, Scott's spokesman, said in a statement.

Several people called 911 around 12:35pm to report that someone had jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge spanning San Pedro and Terminal Island in Los Angeles Harbour, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

A dive team with Los Angeles Port Police pulled the body from the water several hours later. Scott's body was taken to a dock in Wilmington and turned over to the county coroner's office.

Investigators found a note containing contact information in Scott's black Toyota Prius, parked on the bridge, according to The Los Angeles Times. A suicide note was later found at his office.

'New and fresh'

The UK-born director of films like "Top Gun," "Days of Thunder" and "Beverly Hills Cop II," was the younger brother of producer and director, Ridley Scott.

The younger Scott brother was known for his distinct visual style of hyper-kinetic action and editing on such films as his most recent work, the $100m runaway-train thriller "Unstoppable".

In a 1990 interview promoting "Days of Thunder", Scott said of his style: "I'm always pushing for something new and fresh in the way things are shot, and the rest happens in the editing room ... The real speed comes from the cutters and what they do with the celluloid."

The 2010 production "Unstoppable", was Scott's fifth collaboration with Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington.

The pair had previously joined forces for "Crimson Tide," "Man on Fire," Deja Vu" and "The Taking of Pelham 123".

In 1993 Scott would direct "True Romance", the first film written by fellow director Quentin Tarantino.

'Scariest thing'

Scott was said to enjoy rock climbing and racing fast cars, but it was filmmaking that he considered to be the most daunting of his interests.

"The biggest edge I live on is directing. That's the most scary, dangerous thing you can do in your life," Scott said in an interview for his 1995 naval adventure "Crimson Tide".

"The scariest thing in my life is the first morning of production on all my movies.

"It's the fear of failing, the loss of face and a sense of guilt that everybody puts their faith in you and not coming through."

Tony was the first of the Scott brothers to enjoy blockbuster success with "Top Gun," starring Cruise, the top-grossing film of 1986 at $176m.

He is survived by his third wife, actress Donna Scott, and their twin sons.

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