Hollywood is mourning the passing of “Silence of the Lambs” director Jonathan Demme, who died Wednesday morning at the age of 73.
Directors like Martin Scorsese, Edgar Wright and Kevin Smith noted how Demme’s work showcased his wide range and helped people to experience unique stories. “He could do anything,” Wright tweeted.
Many also remembered Demme’s kindness and generosity towards others in the industry. “Moonlight” writer and director Barry Jenkins said the last time he saw Demme was when the director was championing for “Moonlight” during awards season. “Such a kind man,” he added.
Demme was best known for directing films like “Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia,” but he also directed memorable concert films such as the recent “Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids,” and the Talking Heads documentary “Stop Making Sense.”
He died of esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease. Demme is survived by his wife, the artist Joanne Howard, and their three children.
Check out some of Hollywood’s reactions below to get an idea of how far this man’s influence spread.
Martin Scorsese issued this statement on Wednesday afternoon: “Whenever I ran into Jonathan, he was filled with enthusiasm and excitement about a new project. He took so much joy in moviemaking. His pictures have an inner lyricism that just lifts them off the ground–even a story like The Silence of the Lambs. I have great admiration for Jonathan as a filmmaker–I love the freshness of his style and his excellent use of music, from Buddy Holly to Miklos Rozsa. There’s so much more to be said, and I hardly know where to begin. I also loved him as a friend, and to me he was always young. My young friend. The idea that he’s gone seems impossible to me.”
I know now that this was also the last time I saw Jonathan Demme. Fitting that it was in an act of love and generosity. Such a kind man. https://t.co/qYUZqXz2NU
— Barry Jenkins (@BandryBarry) April 26, 2017
Jonathan Demme was a great artist, humanitarian, activist & a warm encouraging colleague. I've known very few like him. He will be missed https://t.co/wQv5QRqHoN
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) April 26, 2017
Deeply sad to hear my friend, neighbor, and colleague Jonathan Demme has passed on. He was one of the real good guys. I miss you, buddy.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) April 26, 2017
Very sad to hear of the passing of the great Jonathan Demme. Admired his movies, his documentaries, his concert films. He could do anything.
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) April 26, 2017
Ted Demme and I were worried about making The Ref when his uncle Jonathan Demme said something profound: "Stop talking and start shooting."
— Denis Leary (@denisleary) April 26, 2017
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) April 26, 2017
RIP #JonathanDemme One of the greats!
— Tony Goldwyn (@tonygoldwyn) April 26, 2017
— Tavis Smiley (@tavissmiley) April 26, 2017
Sad to hear that Jonathan Demme has passed.
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) April 26, 2017
RIP Jonathan Demme. Director's director. Such love for his subject matter. Gorgeous moments and images devoid of vanity. One of the best.
— Jay Baruchel (@BaruchelNDG) April 26, 2017
Jonathan Demme was a gifted and versatile filmmaker. RIP.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) April 26, 2017
— Tribeca (@Tribeca) April 26, 2017