The legendary director of erection inducing popcorn thrillers Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Enemy of the State, and Man on Fire committed suicide by diving from the Jan-Michael Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon. Witnesses reported seeing the 68-year old British filmmaker leap “without hesitation” to the water, some 170 feet below.
Several onlookers said it was “fucking awesome”.
Carlo Giannini, 54, likened it to “[…] an action movie. Like a fucking Tony Scott action movie!”
Samantha Tuggle, 26, was walking across the bridge at noon when Scott mounted the railing and jumped into the open air.
“He fell backwards,” said Tuggle. “His feet were planted together and his arms were outstretched—like when Ripley killed herself in Alien 3.”
“Only his eyes were open and he was smoking a cigar.”
“He directed the third one, right?” the former exotic dancer queried.
Anthony David Scott was the youngest of three sons born to Elizabeth and Colonel Francis Percy Scott in the English fishing village of North Shields.
Scott attended Grangefield School, Sunderland School, and the Royal College of Art with the intention of becoming a painter, but his focus turned to film after older brother Ridley invited him to join his fledgling production company. Tony would go on to film over a thousand television spots with Ridley Scott Associates, including TV clips for Marlboro, SAAB, Barclays Bank, and the U.S. Army.
His debut, the vampire thriller The Hunger (starring David Bowie and Willem Dafoe) initially landed soft at the box office, but garnered enough cult interest to catch the eye of recovering cocaine addict Jerry Bruckheimer, who tapped Scott to helm the Tom Cruise action flick Top Gun. The picture—featuring Cruise as a hotheaded pilot who must engage Russian MIGS after losing a friend in an accident—tapped the mid-80s zeitgeist, earning over $175 million and thrusting Cruise into “American Fuck-Icon Status,” as Mr. Scott put it.
1990’s Revenge—starring Kevin Costner and Anthony Quinn—was a critical success and remains highly regarded. Days of Thunder and Last Boy Scout cemented the younger Scott as an A-list action director, while 2004’s Man on Fire is widely considered to be his magnum opus.
Scott worked with several of Hollywood’s old lions, including Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, and Gene Hackman—but he also directed younger stars like Brad Pitt and Will Smith in the espionage films Spy Game and Enemy of the State. He collaborated with Denzel Washington on a half-dozen pictures, including The Crimson Tide and Deja Vu.
Mike Cassano, 41, a construction worker and father of three—claims Scott shouted “DENZEL!” before replacing his Cohiba Behike in his mouth and leaping poignantly to his death.
Scott is survived by his third wife, Donna Wilson Scott, a North Carolina native and former beauty queen Tony blasted full of twins on his 56th birthday.
“We want some privacy,” the Scott family said in statement released this morning. “What donshoo fuckin’ understand?”
At the time of his demise he was in talks to direct a Top Gun sequel, and had recently completed Out of the Furnace, a drama he produced, starring none other than Christian Bale.
“My God, what a loss,” the handsome Welsh thespian, 38, told us over the phone.
“I mean, lets’ face it, was it wise to plan his piss-poor return to the 30-year-old Alien franchise during the ‘Summer of the Bat’? Probably not. He tried, and he failed. But I can respect that,” he added.
Police say Scott left a suicide note in his car, which he parked near the bridge mid-day Sunday before swan-diving from this realm and taking 17 unfortunate pacific herring with him. The director was diagnosed recently with inoperable brain cancer, and echoing John Travolta’s memorable line reading (from Pelham 1-2-3), Mr. Scott allegedly told death to “LICK [HIS] BUNGHOLE MOTHERFUCKER,” before executing a celestial Moonsault off the apron.
Rather than go out with a whimper, the Englishman—in a nod to his alpha-male dominated films—interpreted the words of Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle” in a literal sense, flying from a guardrail to the sea, and letting his spirit carry him to the sweet hereafter where lambs become lions.
“The man had a big heart,” said French actress Catherine Deneuve. “Not to mention a cock of elephantine proportions.”
Godspeed, Tony. Save some of that hand-crank for the bitches of Elysium.