Jonathan Demme passed away this morning in New York at the age of 73. Via IndieWire, here’s the sad news on the death of the beloved director.
The cause was esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease, according to a source close to the family. He was originally treated for the disease in 2010, but suffered from a recurrence in 2015, and his condition deteriorated in recent weeks.
This is a major bummer, as Demme had an amazing and versatile career in show business. He is best known for directing the 1991 classic The Silence of the Lambs, and he won the Oscar for Best Director for crafting such a spectacular film. You can watch Demme’s acceptance speech at the 1992 Oscars in the video below.
Some of the other notable films that Demme directed were Melvin and Howard (1980), Something Wild (1986), Married to the Mob (1988), Philadelphia (1993), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), and Rachel Getting Married (2008).
He also directed the concert films and documentaries Stop Making Sense (1984), Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006), Neil Young Trunk Show (2009), Neil Young Journeys (2011), and Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids (2016). Demme even wrote and directed for Saturday Night Live from 1980-1986, as he was truly a master of all trades.
Demme is survived by his wife Joanne Howard and their three children, and I’m going to crank this up to dangerous levels to honor the career and life of an insanely talented man. Rest in peace, Jonathan Demme.