British film director Tony Scott leapt to his death after discovering he had inoperable brain cancer, according to reports.
The 68-year-old, originally from North Shields, was best known for Hollywood blockbusters Top Gun, Days Of Thunder and Beverley Hills Cop II. He was the younger brother of film-maker Ridley Scott.
Scott leapt from the Vincent Thomas Bridge spanning San Pedro and Terminal Island in Los Angeles.
Lieutenant Joe Bale of Los Angeles County Coroner's office said Scott's death was being treated as a suicide. A US Coast Guard spokeswoman told local newspaper The Daily Breeze that a suicide note was found inside Scott's car, a black Toyota Prius, which was found parked on an eastbound lane of the bridge.
Film director Duncan Jones, who directed Moon and Source Code, wrote on Twitter: "Just heard about Tony Scott news. Horrible... Tony was a truly lovely man who took me under his wing & ignited my passion to make films."
He added: "Awww Tony. Wish you had felt there was a way to keep going. What a sad waste. My thoughts go out to his wife and beautiful children."
Director Ron Howard also paid tribute to Scott, writing on Twitter: "No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day."
A dive team pulled Scott's body from the water several hours after members of the public alerted emergency services, having seen him jump from the bridge.
Scott, who lived in Beverly Hills, was married to the actress Donna Scott, with whom he had twin sons.
He ran Scott Free Productions with his brother and the pair were working on a film called Killing Lincoln.
Other films produced by Scott included True Romance, Crimson Tide, Enemy Of The State and Man On Fire.
Actor Elijah Wood said: "Awful news about Tony Scott. rest in peace."
Stephen Fry tweeted: "Deeply saddened to hear the news about Tony Scott. A fine film-maker and the most charming, modest man."
Actor Nick Frost wrote: "Terribly sad news about Tony Scott. Rest in peace."
Film critic James King said the industry had been left in shock by Scott's death, adding that the director would be remembered for his "edge-of-your-seat thrillers".
He told Sky News: "Go buy his films, watch his films, and you'll see an incredibly confident director, so for that person to have taken their own life just seems utterly bizarre."I think he'll be remembered as one of the ultimate action directors. He wasn't ashamed by that. Maybe some critics had a go at him because his films weren't intellectually challenging. But when they looked as good as they did, who cares? They were incredibly stylish.
"He trained in fine art, he was an artist."
Tributes were paid to Scott by film fans and industry figures.
Among them was director Edgar Wright, who said he could not believe the news.
The Shaun Of The Dead filmmaker tweeted: "As I hope was evident in my work, I was big fan of his. Rest In Peace, sir."
He added: "'The Last Boy Scout', 'True Romance', 'Crimson Tide', 'Man On Fire' and yes, 'Domino' too. Tony Scott was a rambunctious cinematic spirit."
- 'One Of Hollywood's A List' - Tony Scott Obituary
- From Top Gun To True Romance - The Films Of Tony Scott
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