'Crimson Tide' and 'Top Gun' director Tony Scott dies in an apparent suicide

Tony Scott, the prolific British filmmaker and producing partner with his older brother Ridley Scott, died Sunday in Los Angeles, leaping off a bridge shortly after noon into the Los Angeles harbor. He was 68.

A frequent collaborator with Denzel Washington – their movies together include 2010’s Unstoppable, the 2009 remake of The Taking of Pelham 123, Déjà vu (2006),  Man on Fire (2004) and Crimson Tide (1995) – Scott was the more commercial-minded of the British moviemaking siblings. His biggest hits were Top Gun (1986) and Beverly Hills Cop II (1987). Under the banner Scott Free, Tony and Ridley Scott have produced several hundred films and TV series, including Into the Furnace, the Christian Bale starrer that shot this year in Pittsburgh, and the Emmy-winning The Good Wife. Dozens of movie and TV projects are in development as well.

Scott, the son of a British military office, actually made his movie debut on camera starring in the title role of brother Ridley’s 1956 short, “Boy and Bicycle.” Tony Scott’s directorial debut was the artsy, erotic vampire pic The Hunger (1983), starring Susan Sarandon, Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie. He also directed the Quentin Tarantino-scripted True Romance (1993).

Authorities say Scott, who was married to the former actress Donna Wilson, with whom he had two children, left a suicide note in his car. The contents have not been made public, but according to people.com the director was recently diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer.