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Jonathan Demme, Oscar-winning Director of ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ Dead at 73

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Jonathan Demme (Time Life Pictures / Contributor)
Jonathan Demme holds his Best Director Oscar for ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ during the 1992 Academy Awards. (Time Life Pictures / Contributor)


Oscar-winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme, whose prolific directing career ran from the edgy (Something Wild) to the acclaimed (The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia) has died.

He was 73.

The acclaimed director succumbed to esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease in New York City on Wednesday, his family confirmed to Indiewire, which first reported the news.

Demme made his directorial debut with the Roger Corman B-movie factory on the 1971 biker film, Angels Hard as They Come, but really broke through a decade later with quirky, well-received dramas like Swing Shift and Something Wild.

But it wasn’t until the early ’90s that Demme entered the rarified air of the Hollywood elite, winning a best director Academy Award for 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs. There are plenty of critics who believed he deserved to repeat the feat two years later for Philadelphia.

He also dabbled extensively in documentaries, including the Talking Heads film, Stop Making Sense, and much more recently, with the 2016 concert doc, Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids.

Demme’s last feature film was the Meryl Streep rock dramedy, Ricki and the Flash, in 2015.

Read the full story at Indiewire.com