Tony Scott, the British-born director of such Hollywood blockbusters as “Top Gun” and “Crimson Tide,” jumped to his death on Sunday from a bridge over Los Angeles Harbour, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said.
Onlookers saw Scott, who was 68, park his car on the Vincent Thomas Bridge and jump into the water below at about 12:30 p.m. local time, according to Lieutenant Joe Bale, a watch commander for the coroner’s office.
Bale said the body was recovered by law enforcement from the harbour shortly before 3 p.m. and was subsequently identified as being that of the filmmaker and younger brother of fellow movie director Ridley Scott.
A note was found in Scott’s car that Bale said he believed would turn out to be a suicide note, though he was not familiar with its contents. “Typically, when they find a note in cases like this, it’s not a shopping list,” he said.
The bridge, the surface of which clears the harbour’s navigation channel by a height of about 185 feet (56 meters), connects the port district of San Pedro at the southern tip of Los Angeles to Terminal Island in the harbour.
A spokeswoman for the filmmaker, Katherine Rowe, confirmed Tony Scott’s death and asked for the family’s privacy to be respected.
Scott, born in North Shields, Northumberland, in England, directed more than two dozen movies and television shows and producing nearly 50 titles, including “Top Gun” and “Beverly Hills Cop II”.
Other notable directing credits include the 1990 racing drama “Days of Thunder,” which also featured Cruise, the 1995 submarine thriller “Crimson Tide,” co-starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman, and the 1998 spy thriller “Enemy of the State,” which paired Hackman and Will Smith. The 2001 espionage drama “Spy Game” teamed Robert Redford with Brad Pitt.
Denzel Washington became Scott’s most frequent star, appearing in four other films by the director – the 2004 vengeance drama “Man on Fire,” 2006 sci-fi adventure “Deja Vu,” a 2009 remake of “The Taking of the Pelham 1 2 3,” a subway hostage thriller co-starring John Travolta, and the 2010 runaway-train blockbuster, “Unstoppable.”
Scott and his older brother were executive producers together on two successful prime-time television dramas, “Numb3rs,” which ran on CBS from 2005 to 2010, and “The Good Wife,” which premiered in 2009 and is still running in CBS.
Tony Scott had been in production as the director of a film called “Emma’s War,” about a British aid worker in Sudan who marries a warlord seeking to control part of the country.
Scott is survived by his third wife, Donna, with whom he had two children.