Oscar-winning British film director Anthony Minghella has passed away at 54 according to the Associated Press. Further details are not available at this time.
The helmer started out as a script editor on “Grange Hill”, writer for Jim Henson’s “The Storyteller” and worked on the ITV detective drama series “Inspector Morse”. He began his big screen career in 1990 with “Truly, Madly, Deeply” and 1993’s “Mr. Wonderful”.
Yet it was 1996 war romance drama “The English Patient” that drew him great acclaim and Oscars for Best Picture and direction. His first follow-up was the highly acclaimed Matt Damon-led thriller “The Talented Mr. Ripley” in 1999 which also scored several award nominations.
After that however things weren’t as rosy with 2003’s “Cold Mountain” and 2006’s “Breaking and Entering” both fizzling at the box-office and with critics.
Minghella had branched out into producing in recent years with a string of adult-aimed dramas and political thrillers all receiving acclaim including “Iris,” “Heaven,” “The Quiet American,” “The Interpreter,” “Catch a Fire” and “Michael Clayton”. He also made an uncredited appearance on-screen last year as a TV interviewer in the final minutes of Oscar nominee “Atonement”.
His most recent work was writing, producing and directing the two-hour pilot for HBO’s “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” which premieres this Sunday in the UK. He was scheduled to direct a segment of the anthology film “New York, I Love You” and produce Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader” before his untimely passing.
Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and many colleagues.