Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme dies aged 73 after cancer battle

Jennifer ruby
Passed away: Filmmaker Jonathan Demme has died age 73: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme has died at the age of 73 following a battle with cancer.

The American filmmaker was best known for Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia and Rachel Getting Married.

Demme died in New York on Wednesday morning after battling esophageal cancer and suffering complications from heart disease.

The director was originally treated for the disease back in 2010 but it returned in 2015, a family source told IndieWire.

Iconic: Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs

After a spate of comedy films in the 1980s, including Melvin and Howard, Swing Shift and Something Wild, Demme became a household name in 1991.

He won the coveted Best Director Oscar for Silence of the Lambs that year and went on to direct the critically-acclaimed Philadelphia two years later.

The Truth About Charlie and The Manchurian Candidate, starring Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington followed in the early 2000s while art house hit Rachel Getting Married was released in 2008.

Demme’s most recent big-screen film was 2015’s Ricki and the Flash, starring Streep as a rock star who leaves her family life to tour.

He also directed concert documentary Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids last year and was reportedly in pre-production on a new project.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes