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Jonathan Demme, director of Silence of the Lambs, has died at 73

04.26.2017

Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning director of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, PHILADELPHIA and RACHEL GETTING MARRIED has passed away this morning in New York. Sources close to the family said the cause was esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease. He was treated for the disease back in 2010, but suffered a recurrence two years ago, with his condition reportedly deteriorating in recent weeks. He was 73.

Most movie fans will know him for his eternal work on the thriller, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, which won him best director in 1992, and the movie itself won best picture, best adapted screenplay (Ted Tally), best actor (Anthony Hopkins) and best actress (Jodie Foster).

Other credits include PHILADELPHIA (which won Tom Hanks his first of two Oscars), the 2004 remake of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE with Denzel Washington, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED (earning Anne Hathaway her first Oscar nom), and most recently RICKI AND THE FLASH with Meryl Streep. He was just as notable in the documentary field, gaining attention in 1984 for STOP MAKING SENSE and continuing all the way into 2016 with the concert doc, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE + THE TENNESSEE KIDS.

Demme was, above all, a tremendous actor's director. His compassion and sensitivity allowed him to get to the core of his movie's characters, whether they be sinister (Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter), damaged (Hathaway in MARRIED) or resilient (Hanks in PHILADELPHIA). He was an absolute humanist, which made documentaries like NEIL YOUNG: HEART OF GOLD so tragic and enlightening. He will be missed dearly, and not just by the actors whose lives he helped transform, but by all audiences who connected with his work.

Source: IndieWire

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