Justin Timberlake has paid an emotional tribute to The Silence Of The Lambs director Jonathan Demme after his death at the age of 73, saying: “You made a better human out of me.”
The Oscar-winning filmmaker’s last movie was a documentary about the singer, entitled Justin Timberlake And The Tennessee Kids.
Justin posted a black and white photo of the pair hugging on Instagram, writing: “Where do I begin..? Words just aren’t enough with heartache like this.
“You, master of humanity. You, genius of storytelling. You, generous and warm man. You, special soul.
“You taught me so much about life and art and about standing up for what you believe. You made me better at my craft. And, the time I spent with you away from a camera and a stage made a better human out of me.
“You are truly irreplaceable. I will miss you so dearly, my sweet friend. I hope we meet again someday. I love you, JD.
“May you Rest In Peace. –Justin.”
Demme, who also directed Philadelphia, Something Wild and Rachel Getting Married, died from complications from oesophageal cancer
Tom Hanks, who won an Oscar for his performance in Philadelphia, said: “Jonathan taught us how big a heart a person can have, and how it will guide how we live and what we do for a living.
“He was the grandest of men.”
The director won an Academy Award for The Silence Of The Lambs but was also admired for his landmark concert documentary Stop Making Sense featuring Talking Heads.
The Silence Of The Lambs was the third film in history to win Academy Awards in all the top five categories of best picture, actor, actress, director and adapted screenplay, while Philadelphia, which teamed Tom with Denzel Washington, was one of the first Hollywood films to tackle the Aids crisis.
Other directors paid tribute to Demme, with Spike Lee sharing a photograph of him directing Philadelphia with the caption: “We Lost Another Great Artist Today, My Colleague Jonathan Demme. Here He Is In This Picture Flanked By Denzel Washington In His Monumental Film, PHILADELPHIA (1993). May You Rest In Cinematic Power.”
His publicist said: “Sadly, I can confirm that Jonathan passed away early this morning in his Manhattan apartment, surrounded by his wife, Joanne Howard, and three children.
“He died from complications from oesophageal 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 announced later. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Americans For Immigrant Justice in Miami.”