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Oscar-winning director of Silence of the Lambs passes away aged 73

jonathan demme
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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Jonathan Demme, who was best known for directing films including The Silence of the Lambs, The Manchurian Candidate and Philadelphia has sadly passed away from esophageal cancer and heart disease complications. He was 73.

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Tributes have flooded in for the Oscar-winning director, who died in New York City on Wednesday. Scott Pilgrim v. the World director Edgar Wright wrote: "Very sad to hear of the passing of the great Jonathan Demme. Admired his movies, his documentaries, his concert films. He could do anything." Elijah Wood wrote: "Sad to hear that Jonathan Demme has passed." Fans were also quick to praise his varied range of films, with one tweeting: "No two Jonathan Demme films are alike. That's something so rare to see in directors these days. He was one of a kind. RIP," while another added: "Jonathan Demme was a gifted and versatile filmmaker. RIP."

jonathan demme1© Photo: Getty Images

Jonathan passed away aged 73

The director was also well known for directing documentaries, and his last project was Justin Timberlake's concert film Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids. Speaking about dedicating the film to Prince in an interview with Rolling Stone in September last year, he said: "I love Prince, and so does Justin. [The dedication] was his idea. He's got many influences that he's happy to acknowledge, but none is as great as Prince. We wanted to celebrate him. Any time anyone who's been so generous with their art dies, it's always very sad. Hard to believe, too." Jonathan is survived by his wife, Joanne Howard, and three children, Ramona, Brooklyn and Jos.