News In Depth
Scott 'has inoperable brain cancer'
Film director Tony Scott was suffering from inoperable brain cancer when he jumped to his death from a bridge in Los Angeles, it has been reported.
The claim was made by ABC News in the United States, citing sources close to the Top Gun film-maker, as tributes poured in for a man described as "one of the world's true originals".
The 68-year-old, originally from North Shields, was best known for action-packed Hollywood blockbusters including Days Of Thunder and Beverly Hills Cop II.
Scott, younger brother of film-maker Ridley Scott, leapt from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in LA.
Lieutenant Joe Bale, of the county coroner's office, said the death was being treated as a suicide.
British actress Keira Knightley, who worked with Scott on his 2005 film Domino, in which she starred as a bounty hunter, said: "Tony Scott was one of the most extraordinary, imaginative men I ever worked with.
"It was a privilege to have spent the time I did with him. He was a firecracker and one of the world's true originals."
A dive team pulled Scott's body from the water several hours after members of the public alerted emergency services, having seen him jump from the bridge.
A suicide note is said to have been found at his office and he had left contact details in his black Toyota Prius parked close to the scene.
He was behind numerous slick action movies and worked with some of the biggest names in the film world, including Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington.
Scott, who lived in Beverly Hills, was married to actress Donna Scott, his third wife with whom he had twin sons.
He ran Scott Free Productions with his brother and the pair were working on a film called Killing Lincoln.
His other films included box-office hits such as True Romance, Crimson Tide, Enemy Of The State and Man On Fire.
British film director Duncan Jones, who directed Moon and Source Code, was among those who praised Scott today as the movie world was united in grief.
He said: "Tony was a truly lovely man who took me under his wing and ignited my passion to make films. What a sad waste. My thoughts go out to his wife and beautiful children."
Director Ron Howard also paid tribute to Scott, writing on Twitter: "No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day."
Stephen Fry said: "Deeply saddened to hear the news about Tony Scott. A fine film-maker and the most charming, modest man."
Shaun Of The Dead film-maker Edgar Wright tweeted: "As I hope was evident in my work, I was big fan of his. Rest In Peace, sir."
Film critic James King said the industry had been left in shock by Scott's death, adding that the director would be remembered for his "edge-of-your-seat thrillers".
He told Sky News: "Go buy his films, watch his films, and you'll see an incredibly confident director, so for that person to have taken their own life just seems utterly bizarre.
"I think he'll be remembered as one of the ultimate action directors. He wasn't ashamed by that. Maybe some critics had a go at him because his films weren't intellectually challenging. But when they looked as good as they did, who cares? They were incredibly stylish.
"He trained in fine art, he was an artist."
As well as his movie work, he also produced hit US television shows Numb3rs and The Good Wife.
Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of Shepperton Studios, said: "We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic news that Tony Scott has died.
"He was not only an incredibly gifted film-maker and ambassador for the UK film industry, he was a significant part of the history of Shepperton Studios.
"He directed some of the most successful films of all time and at Shepperton. These included The Hunger (1982), Spy Game (2001) and Tony most recently produced Prometheus (2012), directed by his brother Ridley.
"He will be sadly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time."
Film-maker Spike Lee offered his "prayers and blessings to the family of fellow director Tony Scott and brother Ridley".
Val Kilmer, who played Iceman in Top Gun, tweeted: "RIP Tony. You were the kindest film director I ever worked for. You will be missed."
Actress Susan Sarandon said she was "saddened" by his death. She described him on Twitter as "a wonderful filmmaker and a funny, sweet guy".