Tony Scott: 'Top Gun' & 'The Hunger' Director Kills Self

by Andre Soares
Tony Scott
Tony Scott.

Tony Scott jumps off bridge in Los Angeles area

Earlier today, Aug. 19, director Tony Scott jumped off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in the Los Angeles suburb of San Pedro. The British-born (June 21, 1944, in North Shields, Northumberland) director of Hollywood blockbusters such as Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop 2 was 68.

Tony Scott movies

Though neither movie was well-received by critics, Tony Scott's two biggest box office hits by far were the aforementioned Top Gun (1986) and Beverly Hills Cop 2 (1987), which grossed (not adjusted for inflation) $176.78 million and $153.66 million, respectively, in North America alone. The former, a paean to American militarism, turned Tom Cruise into a global superstar; the latter, a critically lambasted sequel to the even more popular Beverly Hills Cop, helped to solidify Eddie Murphy's movie stardom.

Overall, Tony Scott directed less than 20 movies, the vast majority of those high-concept Hollywood actioners and thrillers aimed at the broadest possible audience. Most notable – in terms of box office – among those were another Tom Cruise vehicle, Days of Thunder (1990), Nicole Kidman's Hollywood debut; the submarine drama Crimson Tide (1995), with Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman; Enemy of the State (1998), with Will Smith; and another Denzel Washington vehicle, Unstoppable (2010), co-starring Chris Pine.

Tony Scott had several misses as well, including the Kevin Costner / Madeleine Stowe melodrama Revenge (1990); the crime drama True Romance (1993), whose screenplay was credited to Quentin Tarantino; The Fan (1995), with Robert De Niro and Wesley Snipes; and the troubled The Last American Boy Scout (1991), starring Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans.

Tony Scott's horror classic The Hunger

Not adjusted for inflation, Tony Scott's most modest performer was the vampire thriller The Hunger (1983), a classy, stylish, beautifully acted first effort unlike the generic, highly commercial movies Scott would focus on. Starring Catherine Deneuve, Susan Sarandon, and David Bowie, The Hunger is perhaps chiefly remembered for an extended sex scene featuring vampire Deneuve and vampire-to-be Sarandon. (Less well known but also worth noting is that The Hunger was silent film star Bessie Love's last appearance in front of the camera.)

Tony Scott's brother, Ridley Scott, is the director of Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, and the recent Prometheus. Ridley Scott's son Jake Scott, directed Kristen Stewart, James Gandolfini, and Melissa Leo in the low-budget melodrama Welcome to the Rileys.

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NEL JOHNSON -

MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO THIS VERY TALENTED DIRECTOR'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS. WE CAN NEVER JUDGE ANOTHER FOR THEIR ACTIONS IN LIFE, FOR WE DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT WE WOULD DO IN THE SAME SITUATION IN OUR LIVES. ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE NOT US. I'LLBE PRAYING FOR THE SCOTTS. NEL JOHNSON

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