Top Gun, Days of Thunder, The Last Boy Scout, True Romance – Tony Scott’s movies are arguably more famous than the man himself, yet in Hollywood the director, who died yesterday, was a big name, greatly respected for his work and held in fond regard.
Since the tragic news that Scott – brother of filmmaker Ridley – had jumped to his death from a bridge over the Los Angeles harbour yesterday, tributes from famous friends and colleagues have poured in, with Twitter the first outlet for the dismay and grief.
A number of fellow directors were quick to share their sadness, with Ron Howard tweeting “No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day,” while Duncan Jones, who made acclaimed sci-fi films Moon and Source Code, shared the impact Scott had had on him: “Just heard about Tony Scott news. Horrible… Tony was a truly lovely man who took me under his wing & ignited my passion to make films.”
Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright also cited Scott as an influence: “As I hope was evident in my work, I was big fan of his. Rest In Peace, sir… ‘The Last Boy Scout’, ‘True Romance’, ‘Crimson Tide’, ‘Man On Fire’ and yes, ‘Domino’ too. Tony Scott was a rambunctious cinematic spirit.”
Hollywood legend Peter Fonda said “Wow! Such sadness. Tony Scott, brilliant film director died,” while fellow actor David Boreanaz tweeted “Just so sad about Tony Scott. R.I.P.”
Stephen Fry, meanwhile, said he was “Deeply saddened to hear the news about Tony Scott,” calling him “a fine film-maker and the most charming, modest man.”
Scott’s death is being treated as suicide by police and coroners. Witnesses saw a man jump from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles, San Pedro, at around 12:35pm local time yesterday, hours before Scott’s body was pulled from the Los Angeles Harbour. Notes were found in Scott’s car, which was parked on the bridge, and at his office.
Tony Scott was the brother of British director Ridley, with whom he formed production company Scott Free Productions, and was the first of the two to taste box office success, with 1986 blockbuster Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise. Scott teamed up with Cruise again four years later to make racing drama Days of Thunder.
Scott was himself a fan of fast cars – and also sought thrills in activities such as rock climbing – but said movie-making was the biggest buzz of all.
“The biggest edge I live on is directing. That’s the most scary, dangerous thing you can do in your life,” he said in 1995.
“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.”
Scott leaves behind his actress wife Donna Scott and their twin sons.