Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella died today at the age of 54 of a hemorrhage following surgery. He won the Best Director Oscar in 1997 for The English Patient, and was later nominated for his work on The Talented Mr. Ripley. He also directed Cold Mountain and the 2006 drama Breaking and Entering.
According to the AP, "Minghella's publicist, Jonathan Rutter, said the filmmaker died at London's Charing Cross Hospital. He said Minghella was operated on last week for a growth in his neck, 'and the operation seemed to have gone well. At 5 a.m. today he had a fatal hemorrhage.'"
His latest projects included the adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith's book series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, which Minghella filmed in Botswana and which will be turned into a 13-part series for HBO. He was also scheduled to direct a short for the film anthology New York, I Love You (the New York version of the 2006 anthology Paris, je t'aime). In addition to serving as executive producer on various projects like Michael Clayton and the Kate Winslet film Iris, Minghella has one acting credit on his filmography: he played the interviewer at the end of Atonement.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is quoted as saying, "Anthony Minghella was a wonderful human being, creative and brilliant, but still humble, gentle and a joy to be with. Whatever I did with him, personally or professionally, left me with complete admiration for him, as a character and as an artist of the highest caliber."
Minghella photo source