Sir Alan Parker, a British director known for “Evita,” “Mississippi Burning,” “Midnight Express” and “The Commitments,” has died, an individual with knowledge of his passing told TheWrap. He was 76.
Parker died on Friday after a long battle with an illness.
Parker was a two-time Oscar nominee for directing both “Midnight Express” and the racial drama “Mississippi Burning.”
Among some of Parker’s other iconic credits include “Bugsy Malone,” “Fame,” “Pink Floyd: The Wall,” “Angel Heart,” “Angela’s Ashes” and most recently “The Life of David Gale” in 2003.
Parker received the CBE in 1995 and was knighted in 2002. He’s also a founding member of the Director’s Guild in Britain and was also the chairman of the UK Film Council.
Parker got his start directing TV commercials in the late ’60s and early ’70s, coming up in the industry around the time of other British filmmakers like Ridley Scott, Adrian Lyne and Hugh Hudson, and he directed his first film “No Hard Feelings” in 1973.
His first feature, “Bugsy Malone” from 1976, parodied American gangster cinema and did so with an all-child cast that provided early career roles for Jodie Foster and Scott Baio. He was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Direction for the film and won the BAFTA for Best Screenplay.
Jeremy Barber, Parker’s longtime agent and UTA partner, shared a statement with TheWrap in remembrance of Parker.
“Sir Alan was one of the greatest storytellers of our time. His films were transportive and transformational and made me truly believe in the magic of movies,” Barber said. “Sir Alan was a humanist and his work explored all of the nooks and crannies of life and thus helped make sense of the world around us. One of my greats joys was sharing a meal with him at his favorite place Mr. Chows and getting to listen to his incredible stories. We have lost an exceptional talent and I will miss him.”
“Midnight Express” then solidified Parker as a top-tier director and won Oscars for both Oliver Stone for his screenplay and electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder for his original score.
In all, Parker’s films have won 19 BAFTAs, 10 Golden Globes and six Oscars. In 2015, he announced that he was effectively retiring from the film industry, and the same year he donated his personal archive of over 70 boxes and documents to the British Film Institute.