Jonathan Demme, 'Silence of the Lambs' and 'Philadelphia' Director, Dies at 73
By Jackie Willis
Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme died on Wednesday in New York of esophageal cancer complications. He was 73 years old.
The filmmaker is perhaps best known for directing the 1991 thriller The Silence of the Lambs, which earned a Best Picture Oscar along with Academy Awards for stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins as well as Demme himself. He went on to direct such films as Philadelphia in 1993, the 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate and Rachel Getting Married in 2008.
One of his last director credits is for his work on the Netflix documentary Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids that was released last year.
Last October, ET's Cameron Mathison sat down with Demme and Timberlake, where the filmmaker revealed his plans to direct the triple-threat star in a movie. "It's big in my life to want to work with Justin," he said. "Justin and Jason Segel. I want you guys to do a movie together with me."
Since news broke of Demme's death, celebrities have been paying tribute to the beloved director on social media.
"So sad to hear about #JohnathanDemme," Reese Witherspoon tweeted. "We lost a great filmmaker and a lovely man #RIP."
"Beyond sad. RIP #JonathanDemme," Josh Gad wrote.
Gushing over Demme, director Eli Roth tweeted: "Just heard about Jonathan Demme. He could literally do anything and did it all masterfully. Never knew him but everyone loved him. Sad news."
Moonlight director Barry Jenkins also paid tribute to his fellow filmmaker, writing: "Met tons through the Moonlight run but my man Demme was the kindest, most generous. A MASSIVE soul. He lived in love. And rests in peace."
Director Ron Howard went on to share a similar sentiment, tweeting: "Jonathan Demme was a great artist, humanitarian, activist and a warm encouraging colleague. I've known very few like him. He will be missed."
Meanwhile, author Stephen King remembered Demme as "my friend, neighbor, and colleague."
"He was one of the real good guys," King tweeted. "I miss you, buddy."