One of Tony Scott's most prolific leading men has come forward to pay his respects following the film maker's tragic death. Tom Cruise blossomed into a seasoned leading man under the 68-year-old's direction in 1986 blockbuster, Top Gun. They worked together again in 1990 on Days of Thunder – where the A-lister met and fell in love with Nicole Kidman.
Speaking of the man who had filmed so many pivotal moments in his life, Tom said: "Tony was my dear friend and I will really miss him. "He was a creative visionary whose mark on film is immeasurable. My deepest sorrow and thoughts are with his family at this time." As the actor paid tribute, the director's widow, Donna Wilson, denied that a terminal illness drove her husband to jump off of an LA bridge. Reports initially suggested an inoperable brain tumour was behind the desperate act. But actress Donna has dismissed the claim, telling officials investigating the case that her husband didn't have any major health problems.
"According to the family, to their knowledge, he did not have any issues with any cancers," Los Angeles Coroner Ed Winter told reporters. "They don't know where that came from." Tony's family – including his brother and fellow director Ridley Scott – are now rallying round to support Donna and the couple's two young sons, Max and Frank.While the Ridley brothers' publicist Simon Halls appealed for privacy in the wake of Tony' s death, the people who worked with the action director are marking his legacy. His most frequent collaborator, Denzel Washington, echoed Tom Crusie's sentiments, saying: "Tony Scott was a great director, a genuine friend and it is unfathomable to think that he is now gone.
He had a tremendous passion for life and for the art of film-making and was able to share this passion with all of us through his cinematic brilliance."
Tony Scott - by those who knew him
- Tom Crusie - "Tony was my dear friend and I will really miss him. He was a creative visionary whose mark on film is immeasurable. My deepest sorrow and thoughts are with his family at this time."
- Denzel Washington - "He had a tremendous passion for life and for the art of film-making and was able to share this passion with all of us through his cinematic brilliance."
- Gene Hackman - "Tony was always sensitive to the needs of an actor. We've lost a wonderful, creative talent."
- Christian Slater - "Shocking and devastating news. He was the best and will be greatly missed."
- Val Kilmer - "RIP Tony. You were the kindest film director I ever worked for. You will be missed."
- Robert Rodriguez - "Damn. Great knowing you, buddy. Thanks for the inspiration, advice, encouragement, and the decades of great entertainment."
- Elijah Wood - "Awful news about Tony Scott. Rest in peace."