Jonathan Demme; Oscar winning director for “Silence of the Lambs”, passed away early in the morning of 26, April 2017 from complications of esophageal cancer. He was surrounded by his wife, and his children. Tributes are pouring out through Hollywood, celebrating the loss of a groundbreaking director. A director who has been called a hurricane, and pure energy. A private family funeral is being planned.
Demme was best known for “Silence of the Lambs”, but he also won awards for “Philadelphia,” the 1993 drama starring Tom Hanks as a lawyer battling AIDS; and “Beloved,” the 1998 Oprah Winfrey movie based on Toni Morrison’s bestseller about a 19th century slave haunted by the ghost of her daughter.
Over a career that spanned four decades Demme directed an eclectic mix of films, including the Michelle Pfeiffer comedy “Married to the Mob,” the Melanie Griffith-Jeff Daniels road-trip adventure “Something Wild,” a remake of political thriller “The Manchurian Candidate” with Denzel Washington, and the Anne Hathaway indie drama “Rachel Getting Married.”
Demme, unlike most of his contemporaries, never went to film school. Instead he gleaned his vast experience by jumping into film making, writing and directing low budget movies. He eventually moved on to larger and larger budget movies over the course of his 41 year career. From 1974 until 2015, he entertained millions, and his legacy will live on in his often quirky, but always personal films.