Oscar-Winning Director Jonathan Demme passes away

Jonathan Demme, best known as the director of the Oscar-winning Silence of the Lambs, has died at the age of 73.Though the back-to-back successes of both Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Philadelphia (1993) may have forever secured Demme’s place as one of Hollywood’s greats, his true talents lay in how endlessly capable he was of surprise. Demme was never afraid of taking creative risks, of making each film a left turn from the last. He first broke into the industry, for example, working alongside B-movie legend Roger Corman, co-writing and producing Angels Hard as they Come and Hot Box.He then moved onto directing, making three films (Caged Heat, Crazy Mama, and Fight Mad) for Corman’s studio; he eventually found mainstream success in the 1980s, thanks to a string of hits in Melvin and Howard, Swing Shift, Swimming to Cambodia, and Something Wild. Demme also proved a huge influence on many of today’s most prominent young filmmakers, as well as a great supporter of emerging talent. The filmmaker was only recently seen championing Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight ahead of its Oscar win, which led Jenkins himself to pay tribute to the filmmaker on his passing.”Met tons through the Moonlight run but my man Demme was the kindest, most generous. A MASSIVE soul. He lived in love. And rests in peace,” Jenkins posted to Twitter. His publicist has since confirmed the news, stating, “Sadly, I can confirm that Jonathan passed away early this morning in his Manhattan apartment, surrounded by his wife, Joanne Howard, and three children.” Indiewire reports Demme passed away from esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease, according to a source close to the family.”He died from complications from esophageal cancer and is survived by his children Ramona, age 29, and her husband James Molloy, Brooklyn, age 26, and Jos, age 21. There will be a private family funeral.””Any possible further plans will be announce[d] later. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Americans for Immigrant Justice in Miamia, FL.”

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