Tony Scott the 68-year-old film director who studied at the former Sunderland Art School,attended West Hartlepool College of Art and earned a degree from the Royal College of Art has died after a plunge from a bridge in Los Angeles. Scott shot to fame in the 1980s with a string of action films, including Top Gun. Other hits included Crimson Tide, Days of Thunder and Beverly Hills Cop II.
The North Shields-born director was the the brother of Blade Runner/Alien director Ridley Scott and held a joint partnerships with him in a successful production company. Together they produced leading films and television programming such as The Good Wife and the CBS drama NUMB3RS. He made a number of films with actor Denzel Washington, including Man on Fire and most recently Unstoppable. At the time of his death, he was rumoured to be working with Tom Cruise on a sequel to Top Gun.
Upon graduating from the Royal College of Art , Scott fully intending to become a painter. It was only the success of his elder brother’s fledging television commercial production outfit, Ridley Scott Associates (RSA), that turned his attentions towards film. His first feature film was a vampire romance titled The Hunger in 1983. Starring David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve it was not a hit with critics, but did later go on to become a cult movie.The biggest edge I live on is directing. That’s the most scary, dangerous thing you can do in your life.” However it did catch the attention of producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson who signed him up to direct Top Gun, after also seeing a commercial Scott made for Swedish car company Saab. Often behind the camera in his signature faded red baseball cap, the early 1990s also saw him direct action thriller The Last Boy Scout and True Romance, written by Quentin Tarantino. Scott was married to actress Donna Scott, who appeared in several of Scott’s films. She was wife number 3 and mother of his twin sons.
Tony Scott Director and Producer (1944-2012)
Photo: Creative Commons Courtesy/by Anthony Scott