Clues sought in suicide of film director Tony Scott

Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:10pm EDT
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Investigators sought clues on Monday 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 such blockbuster films as "Top Gun" and "Beverly Hills Cop II," jumped to his death on Sunday from a suspension bridge over Los Angeles Harbor, 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 on Monday to perform an autopsy on Scott's body, which was recovered from the harbor nearly three hours after he jumped in, Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said.

Results of the exam will likely be kept confidential until toxicology and other tests are completed, he said.

Winter said he could not confirm an ABC News report that said the filmmaker, the younger brother of fellow director and three-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott, had inoperable brain cancer. The report cited an unidentified source close to Scott.

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.

He also said investigators had no theories about what led Scott, who was 68, to take his own life.

A spokeswoman for Scott confirmed his death on Sunday night and asked that the media respect his family's privacy.   Continued...

Director Tony Scott poses during a photocall in Paris in this July 20, 2009 file photo. Hollywood filmmaker Scott, director of such big-screen action hits as "Top Gun" and "Crimson Tide," jumped to his death on August 19, 2012 from a bridge over Los Angeles Harbor, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Files