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Tony Scott

Director / Film Producer

Born: 21 June 1944
Died: 19 August 2012 (suicide by jumping)
Birthplace: North Shields, England
Best known as:

The director of the action hit Top Gun

Name at birth: Anthony David Scott

Tony Scott, the well-known director of action films like Top Gun and Crimson Tide, was 68 years old when he jumped to his death in Los Angeles in 2012.  Tony Scott was born in England and studied art at a series of schools: first a year at the Leeds College of Art and Design, then a fine arts degree at the University of Sunderland, and then a masters of fine arts at the Royal College of Art. He later joined his brother, Ridley Scott, at the TV ad agency Ridley Scott Associates and began directing commercials there.  Both brothers then moved into the movies. Tony Scott's first Hollywood feature as a director was The Hunger (1983), a sleek vampire picture starring Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie. His next film was the blowout blockbuster Top Gun (1986), starring Tom Cruise as a rebellious Navy fighter pilot. Top Gun's jet-fueled combo of action and rock 'n roll made it both a huge hit and a prototype for the action films of the next two decades. Scott made many of them himself: Beverly Hills Cop II (1987, with Eddie Murphy), Days of Thunder (a NASCAR action flm with Cruise and Nicole Kidman), the submarine thriller Crimson Tide (1995, with Denzel Washington) and Enemy of the State (1998, with Will Smith).  Tony Scott's films were often panned by critics -- he was never nominated for an Oscar -- but were highly successful at the box office.  He also worked in television, producing the series Numb3rs and The Good Wife, among other work. His last feature film as a director was Unstoppable, the 2012 runaway-train thriller starring Chris Pine and Denzel Washington. Tony Scott committed suicide in 2012 by jumping off of the Vincent Thomas Bridge over Los Angeles Harbor on a Sunday afternoon.  He left a note with his name and contact information in his Toyota Prius nearby, and a suicide note in his office.

Extra credit:

Tony Scott was 5'6 1/2" tall, according to the IMDB... Some sources list his birth name as Anthony D.L. Scott. However, after his suicide, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office identified him to reporters as Anthony David Scott... He was married three times: to production designer Gerry Scott (from 1967 until their divorce in 1974), to Glynis Sanders (briefly, from 1986 until their divorce in 1987) and to model and actress Donna Wilson (from 1994 until his death in 2012). His twin sons with Donna Wilson Scott, Frank and Max, were born about the year 2000.  Donna Wilson was a former Miss North Carolina USA of 1987; that's the beauty pageant associated with Miss USA, not Miss America... Tony Scott was often seen wearing a worn and faded red baseball cap. He bought the cap during the filming of Top Gun and it became his signature. Los Angeles news station KABC reported that Scott wore the cap when he jumped to his death in 2012.

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