Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme dies at 73

Ian Sandwell
Photo credit: Rex Shutterstock

From Digital Spy

The Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme has sadly passed away at the age of 73.

According to IndieWire, the Oscar winner died this morning (April 26) in New York, with the cause said to be oesophageal cancer and complications from heart disease. He was originally treated for the disease in 2010, but suffered a recurrence in 2015.

Edgar Wright, Pixar's Andrew Stanton and Evil Dead star Jane Levy have been among those paying tribute to Demme on Twitter.

The Silence of the Lambs remains only one of three movies to have won the 'Big Five' Oscars of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay, alongside It Happened One Night (1934) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975).

Its achievement was all the most remarkable given that the adaptation is the only horror movie ever to win the Best Picture Oscar.

Photo credit: Orion Pictures

Demme followed The Silence of the Lambs up with AIDS drama Philadelphia which saw Tom Hanks win an Oscar for Best Actor.

His other movies included Talking Heads documentary Stop Making Sense, Meryl Streep comedy Ricki and the Flash and Anne Hathaway drama Rachel Getting Married that saw her gain an Oscar nomination.

Demme's most recent movie was concert documentary Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids, released in 2016.

He is survived by his wife Joanne Howard and their three children.

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