Top Gun director Tony Scott has fallen to his death from a Los Angeles bridge, Los Angeles County coroner's officials said.
Various US media, including Variety magazine, quoted coroner's officials and port police as saying that the 68-year-old brother of director Ridley Scott fell from the Vincent Thomas Bridge spanning San Pedro and Terminal Island in Los Angeles about 12.30pm on Sunday local time.
Top Gun director Tony Scott dies
Top Hollywood director Tony Scott has died after falling from a bridge in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles County Coroner's Lieutenant Joe Bale said Scott's death was being investigated as a suicide.
"There's nothing to indicate it is anything else at this time," he told CNN.
The Los Angeles Times quoted a spokesman for Scott's family as saying: "I can confirm that Mr Scott has indeed passed away. The family asks that their privacy be respected at this time."
Several people called 911 about 12.35pm to report that someone had jumped from the bridge, Los Angeles Police Lieutenant Tim Nordquist said.
A diving team with Los Angeles Port Police pulled the body from the murky water several hours later, Lieutenant Nordquist said. The body was taken to a dock in Wilmington and turned over to the county coroner's office.
One lane of the eastbound side of the bridge, which opened in 1963 and is about 56 metres above the harbour, was closed to traffic during the investigation.
US Coast Guard Lieutenant Jennifer Osburn told the Daily Breeze that a suicide note was found inside Scott's black Toyota Prius, which was parked on one of the eastbound lanes of the bridge.
The two brothers ran Scott Free Productions and were working jointly on a film called Killing Lincoln, based on the bestseller by Bill O'Reilly.
Ridley Scott's Prometheus was a summer blockbuster. Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise, was one of the highest-grossing films of 1986. Tony Scott had also been announced as the director for Top Gun 2.
The pair worked together again four years later on the hit Days of Thunder, another thriller exposing the rough-and-tumble world of NASCAR stock car racing. He believed the actor's youthful charm, optimism and never-ending energy would guarantee success.
"Tom can sit behind the wheel of a race car and smoke a cigarette and this movie will make a fortune," Scott was quoted as saying at the time. He did not miss the mark.
The film was criticised for what Hollywood media deemed excessive and sometimes over-the-top use of special effects, but it did well at the box office, grossing nearly $US158 million.
Scott frequently worked with Denzel Washington, most recently on the 2010 runaway train drama Unstoppable. Scott and Washington collaborated on four other films: Man on Fire, Deja Vu, Crimson Tide and The Taking of Pelham 123.
Tony Scott also served as an executive producer on television series The Good Wife and Numb3rs.
In an interview before the release of The Taking of Pelham 123, he said, "My whole career I've always tried to avoid CGI [computer generated imagery], whether it's planes, cars or trains," London's Daily Telegraph reported.
"It's something in terms of the drama and the performances that gives me a reality and more of an edge."
Scott was born in North Shields, Northumberland, in England in 1944 and was frequently seen behind the camera in his signature faded red baseball cap. He was married to actress Donna Scott. They had twin sons Max and Frank.
A list of some of Scott's notable films:
- The Hunger, 1983
- Top Gun, 1986
- Beverly Hills Cop II, 1987
- Days of Thunder, 1990
- Revenge, 1990
- The Last Boy Scout, 1991
- True Romance, 1993
- Crimson Tide, 1995
- The Fan, 1996
- Enemy of the State, 1998
- Spy Game, 2001
- Man on Fire, 2004
- Deja vu, 2006
- The Taking of Pelham 123, 2009
- Unstoppable, 2010
Fairfax and AP/AFP
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