x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Top Gun director dies after jumping off bridge; suicide note found

The British-born film director Tony Scott is dead at 68.

Tony Scott, the director of Hollywood hits such as Top Gun, Days of Thunder and Beverly Hills Cop II, died on Sunday after jumping off a Los Angeles bridge. He was 68. A suicide note was later found at his office.

The 68-year-old Scott's death was being investigated as a suicide, Los Angeles County Coroner's Lt Joe Bale said. Investigators found a note in Scott's black Toyota Prius, which was parked on the bridge, according to the Los Angeles Times. The note listed contact information.

Several people called emergency services around 12:35 pm to report that someone had jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge spanning San Pedro and Terminal Island in Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles police Lt Tim Nordquist.

A dive team with Los Angeles Port Police pulled the body from the murky water several hours later, Nordquist said. Scott's 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 was closed to traffic during the investigation.

The British-born Scott was the producer and director Ridley Scott's younger brother. His films were known for their hyperkinetic action, such as the runaway train thriller Unstoppable, starring Denzel Washington.

Scott was a thrill-seeker himself and enjoyed rock climbing, driving fast cars and riding motorcycles. But filmmaking was his real thrill.

"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 you're not coming through."

Tony was the first of the Scott brothers to enjoy blockbuster success with Top Gun (1986). Starring Tom Cruise, it was the top-grossing film that year. The brothers ran Scott Free Productions and were working together on Killing Lincoln, a film based on the bestseller by Bill O'Reilly. They also produced the CBS dramas NUMB3RS and The Good Wife.

The director Ron Howard posted on Twitter: "No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day."

Director Jon Favreau tweeted, "Such sad news about Tony Scott. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends."

Other Scott films include True Romance, written by Quentin Tarantino, The Fan with Robert De Niro, and Enemy of the State, starring Will Smith.

Scott was married to the actress Donna Scott, who has appeared in several of her husband's films. They have twin sons.