Autopsy May Prove Tony Scott was Battling Inoperable Brain Cancer
"Top Gun" director Tony Scott reportedly battled inoperable brain cancer before jumping to his death off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro on Sunday (August 19).
Sources close to the director tell ABC News that Tony knew of the diagnosis and a rep at the Coroner's Office says several letters addressed to loved ones were found in his car. Additionally, a suicide note was subsequently found at Mr. Scott's West Hollywood office.
Just hours after his body was recovered by rescue divers, the assistant chief coroner for Los Angeles County told the Daily News, "The autopsy is scheduled for this morning. We might (see a brain issue), but we don't have anything medically confirmed at this time."
In a statement, Mr. Scott's spokesman Simon Halls shared, "I can confirm that Tony Scott has passed away. The family asks that their privacy is respected at this time."
According to ABC News, the director-producer had recently struggled with what several associates described as "a serious illness."
Joe Carnahan, who worked with Scott on 2010's "The A-Team", was in obvious mourning as he commented on the unexpected passing of a colleague, friend and mentor.
“I put myself in that car seat and in his place and think about what he must have been experiencing and it must been such an unbreachable level of pain,” said Carnahan.
He went on to say, “I don't want to understand it because it is so powerfully sad.”
“If there was indeed something terminally ill about Tony, this is the way he would go out: big and facing death, without shrinking away from it. He wouldn't wait for death. The idea of death encroaching, coming for him? No, Tony would be the first one to ride out and find the death, he wouldn't wait to waste away. He would have gone right into the heart of it.”
During his career, Scott directed more than 15 big-budget films, including the memorable 1980's blockbuster "Top Gun". Seen by many as the launching pad for Tom Cruise's successful acting career, the fighter pilot-themed action drama wound up being the highest-grossing film of 1986 after raking in a jaw-dropping $176 million. Four years later Cruise would reunite with his "Top Gun" director to do the movie "Days of Thunder."
Among the other big screen successes helmed by Scott- "Man on Fire", "Crimson Tide", "Enemy of the State", "Beverly Hills Cop II," and "Unstoppable". Tragically, the 68-year-old had recently announced that a sequel to "Top Gun" was in the works, with Cruise once again on board to star.
Tony Scott is survived by his older brother, Oscar-winning director/producer Ridley Scott, as well as wife Donna Scott and their twin sons, Max and Frank.
As word of his death hit Hollywood on Sunday night (August 19), a generation of actors and filmmakers influenced by the work of Tony Scott spoke fondly of his legacy.
Christian Slater, who starred in the Scott-directed 1993 flick "True Romance", called the news of his death "Shocking and devestating", adding, "He was the best and will be greatly missed."
Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez also used social media to praise and thank the accomplished director, writing, "Thanks for the inspiration, advice, encouragement, and the decades of great entertainment."
As a member of the younger generation, singer/actor Justin Timberlake paid tribute to Tony Scott by posting the simple statement, "His movies made growing up more fun for me."
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