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Ted Demme (1964 - 2002)

Jan. 15, 2002by: Mike Sampson

I first saw the news that Ted Demme had passed while trolling around the Discussion Boards this morning. At first, I thought it was a cruel, yet elaborate joke by one of the posters.  I hadn't heard anything of the news and considering I spend the vast majority of my free time scouring the 'net for stories, that's saying something. Immediately, I checked the AP wire and read the following story:

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) - Ted Demme, a film and television director whose credits include the film BLOW, died after playing basketball. He was 38. Demme was participating in a celebrity basketball game at the private Crossroads School when he was stricken Sunday, said Ted Braun, a spokesman for Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. Paramedics rushed Demme to the hospital's emergency room in full cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead 20 minutes later. The cause of death has not been determined and an autopsy will be conducted, said Lt. Cheryl MacWillie of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.

Demme, a nephew of director Jonathan Demme, directed Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz in last year's BLOW.  The film was based on the true story of George Jung, who was the American connection to the Colombian cocaine cartel in the late 1970s and early '80s when the drug became hip. Demme, who lived in West Hollywood, also directed the 1996 film BEAUTIFUL GIRLS and was a director on the 1999 television series "Action." His uncle, Jonathan Demme, was director of the 1991 film SILENCE OF THE LAMBS which won the Oscar for best picture.

A damn shame.  You can't say this enough when somebody dies early like this but it's just a damn shame.  Do yourself a favor this weekend and check out some of Demme's past work.  You'll see how he matured from the days directing "Yo! MTV Raps" all the way to BLOW.

Here's a look back at just a few of Demme's films through the eyes of our own JoBlo...

BLOW (2001)   LIFE (1999)   BEAUTIFUL GIRLS (1996)

And if you really want to get depressed, check out this page at the official site for BLOW and watch all the behind-the-scenes footage from the set showing what a charismatic, funny and talented guy Demme was.

Wax Poetic on the Untimely Death of Ted Demme here

Tags: Hollywood

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