Tony Scott, the British director of such films as Top Gun and True Romance, is dead after jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, CA yesterday afternoon, an apparent suicide. According to official reports, Scott climbed an eight to ten-foot fence on the south side of the bridge and jumped “without hesitation” at about 12:30 p.m. A suicide note was reportedly found in the director’s office, though the police have not released its contents.
Scott was 68.
Although it would probably be reckless and irresponsible to speculate as to why Scott would be driven to perform such an act, I find it difficult to believe that this would have been over career concerns. His recent films Unstoppable and The Taking Of Pelham 123 had performed well at the box office and he currently had a number of new projects in development including a sequel to his hit Top Gun. His production company Scott Free, which he co-owns with his brother director Ridley Scott, was behind the television series Numb3rs and The Good Wife and had just completed work on a two-night, four hour mini-series adaptation of the Michael Crichton novel Coma starring Ellen Burstyn for A&E.
Much like his brother Ridley, Tony Scott started his career working in commercials before he moved over to feature films. His first film was the 1983 Catherine Deneuve vampire tale The Hunger. But it was his sophomore effort, Top Gun, which really launched his career as an action director as well as boosted star Tom Cruise’s already ascendent career. Scott followed the film with more action fare such as Days Of Thunder, also with Cruise, Beverly Hills Cop II, Crimson Tide and the Quentin Tarantion-scripted True Romance.