Hollywood says Scott had brain cancer
Investigators sought clues this week to what prompted British-born filmmaker Tony Scott to take his own life in Los Angeles, while much of Hollywood focused on an unconfirmed news report that he was suffering from brain cancer.
Scott, director of blockbuster films including Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop II, jumped to his death on Sunday from a suspension bridge over Los Angeles Harbour, leaving behind a suicide note in his office and a list in his car of people to contact, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said.
Medical examiners were scheduled to perform an autopsy on Scott's body, which was recovered from the harbour nearly three hours after he jumped, said assistant chief coroner Ed Winter.
Winter could not confirm an ABC News report that claimed the filmmaker, the younger brother of fellow director and three-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott, had inoperable brain cancer.
Asked whether the suicide note found by friends in Scott's office or any other writings referred to an illness, Winter said "not to my knowledge". Authorities have not disclosed the content of the note.
Winter said investigators had no theories about what led Scott, who was 68, to take his own life.
Members of the film industry expressed shock, with reactions from Tom Cruise, Ron Howard and others. Cruise, who shot to stardom in Scott's Top Gun in 1986, described him as "my dear friend" and said: "I will really miss him. He was a creative visionary whose mark on film is immeasurable."
Howard, the Oscar-winning director behind A Beautiful Mind, tweeted: "No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day." Actor Samuel L Jackson tweeted that he was "taking a moment to reflect on Tony Scott's life and work".
Gene Hackman, who starred in Scott's Enemy of the State and Crimson Tide, remembered him as "always sensitive to the needs of an actor. We've lost a wonderful, creative talent".
Scott was seen parking his car on the Vincent Thomas Bridge and leaping into the water at about 12.30pm on Sunday, according to Lieutenant Joe Bale, a watch commander for the coroner's office.