Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme dies, aged 73
Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind movies such as Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia and The Manchurian Candidate, has died. He was 73.
The cause of death is understood to be esophageal cancer and complications arising from heart disease. Demme had been treated for the disease in 2010 but the cancer reportedly reemerged in 2015 and his condition is understood to have deteriorated in recent weeks. He died this morning in New York.
Demme's long and varied career began in the early 1970s with his screenplay for Joe Viola's 1971 film Angels Hard as They Come, before directing his first feature in 1974, Caged Heat. By the 1980s his career behind the lens saw him directing various music videos for the likes of New Order and UB40, as well as the critically- acclaimed Talking Heads documentary Stop Making Sense.
He also worked as a director on various TV shows over the course of his career, including Saturday Night Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show and, more recently, on AMC's version of Nordic crime series The Killing.
In addition to Silence of the Lambs, for which he won Best Director at the Academy Awards, Demme's impressive filmography also includes films such as Philadelphia, Beloved, The Manchurian Candidate and his most recent feature film Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Streep.
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.