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Jonathan Demme has died at the age of 73

Jonathan Demme, best known as the director of Oscar-winning Silence of the Lambs, has died at the age of 73.

According to IndieWire, the cause was esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease, according to a source close to the family. He was originally treated for the disease in 2010, but suffered from a recurrence in 2015.

Demme made a name for himself in the 1980s with his comedy films Melvin and Howard (1980), Swing Shift (1984), Something Wild (1986) and Married to the Mob (1988). He became best known for directing The Silence of the Lambs (1991), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director. He later directed the acclaimed films Philadelphia (1993) and Rachel Getting Married (2008). He also directed the brilliant Talking Heads concert film, Stop Making Sense, which is one of my favourites.

He got into making films working for film producer Roger Corman from 1971 to 1976, co-writing and producing Angels Hard as They Come and The Hot Box. He then moved on to directing, with three films (Caged Heat, Crazy Mama, Fighting Mad) for Corman’s studio New World Pictures.

His most recent works include the Meryl Streep comedy Ricki and the Flash in 2015 and the concert documentary Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids in 2016.

He is survived by his wife, artist Joanne Howard, and their three children.

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