Shock and awe action film director Tony Scott mysteriously jumped off the top of the Vincent Thomas Bridge Sunday afternoon to his death. The 68-year-old father-of-two climbed a fence on the south side of the bridge’s apex and leapt off “without hesitation” and died shortly after sustaining horrific injuries following the fall. The US Coast Guard said officials found a note listing contact information inside his car, which was parked on an eastbound lane of the cable-suspension bridge. A suicide note was later found at his office in downtown Los Angeles.
Hollywood was shocked by this tragic news because Scott had thriving career. He was known for blockbusters like “Top Gun,” “Days Of Thunder,” “Beverly Hills Cop II,” and the most recent “Unstoppable.” He also is a credited producer on this summer’s Fox blockbuster “Prometheus” directed by his brother Ridley Scott.
In recent months he was busy developing a Top Gun sequel with Tom Cruise.
Reportedly, Scott’s wife was being comforted by friends and family at their Beverly Hills home.
“I can confirm that Tony Scott has indeed passed away,” said his publicist, Simon Halls.
“The family asks that their privacy be respected at this time.”
Colleagues and fans struggled to explain why the successful director would commit suicide as many took to Twitter to post their tributes.
Director Ron Howard said: “No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day.”
His career in television included executive producing the series”The Good Wife” and “Numb3rs,” both on CBS.
Scott was one of three sons born to working-class parents in northern England.
He established his career as a commercial director and continued to make television spots late into his career. Before becoming a filmmaker, Scott was a painter.
Distinguished by a kinetic visual style that aimed to take audiences into his high-octane action scenes, Scott also produced a number of blockbuster movies.
At the time of his death, he had recently completed filming on “Out of the Furnace,” a drama he was producing about an ex-con starring Christian Bale. The movie is set to come out next year.
Scott was also preparing to produce a science-fiction drama called “Ion” and had served as executive producer on “Stoker,” set to come out next March.
His debut feature, 1983′s vampire movie “The Hunger,” starred Catherine Deneuve and established Scott’s cinematic style. He followed that movie with “Top Gun,” which not only boosted the career of Tom Cruise but also ushered in a series of Scott’s action movies, which included “Days of Thunder,” also starring Cruise, and “Crimson Tide,” starring Denzel Washington.
While his movies were consistent box-office hits, he rarely attracted critical praise and was never nominated for an Academy Award. He was more successful with reviewers in television, however, for his work on “The Good Wife.”
The two brothers ran Scott Free Productions and were working jointly on a film called “Killing Lincoln,” based on the best seller by Bill O’Reilly.
Producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer signed Scott to direct the movie after being impressed by a commercial he had done for Swedish automaker Saab in the early 1980s in which a car races a fighter jet. The pair worked together again four years later on the NASCAR-set Days of Thunder, which also starred Cruise’s soon to become wife Nicole Kidman.
Scott and Washington collaborated on several films: Man on Fire, Deja Vu and The Taking of Pelham 123. Other films produced by Scott included True Romance and Man On Fire.
He said during an interview before the release of Taking of Pelham 123: “My whole career I’ve always tried to avoid CGI, whether it’s planes, cars or trains. It’s something in terms of the drama and the performances that gives me a reality and more of an edge.”
Last year Cruise confirmed talks were underway about a sequel to the 1986 hit Top Gun that would see him reprise the role of fighter pilot Lt Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. On the red carpet in Munich, Cruise confirmed he has been developing a script with Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
A post mortem examination will be performed later today. One lane of the eastbound side of the bridge was closed as investigations continued.
Completed in 1963, the 6,060-foot bridge, which spans San Pedro and Terminal Island in Los Angeles, is a known suicide spot.
Scott was married to Donna Scott, who had starred alongside Tom Cruise in Scott’s 1990 film Days of Thunder. The couple had twin boys, Frank and Max.
There was no immediate evidence leading investigators to believe that Scott’s death was anything but a suicide. Officials said an autopsy had not yet been performed