The acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Demme, a versatile movie and TV director and producer who won an Academy Award in 1992 for directing the Best Picture winner “The Silence of the Lambs,” has died.
IndieWire reports that Demme died this morning in New York. He was 73.
“The cause was esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease, according to a source close to the family,” IndieWire reports. “He was originally treated for the disease in 2010, but suffered from a recurrence in 2015, and his condition deteriorated in recent weeks.”
Demme’s work in feature films is marked by a string of beloved movies, including “Philadelphia,” “Melvin and Howard,” “Swing Shift,” “Something Wild,” “Married to the Mob” and “Rachel Getting Married.” He also made an impact in 1984 with the feature documentary “Stop Making Sense,” a concert film starring the Talking Heads.
He later directed a series of Neil Young movies starting with “Heart of Gold” in 2006.
Demme’s work on television included directing episodes of “Columbo,” “Saturday Night Live” and “Enlightenment.”
“Demme maintained a private personal life, but his career was marked by a remarkably versatile creative output that included acclaimed narratives and documentaries films stretching back to the early ’70s,” IndieWire notes. “He made his debut with the 1971 biker film ‘Angels Hard as They Come,’ a Roger Corman production during the B-movie producer’s heyday.”
Here’s a clip of Demme winning the Oscar for directing “The Silence of the Lambs” in 1992 …