All current horror fans owe Jonathan Demme a debt of gratitude. As the director of The Silence of the Lambs, Demme irrefutably elevated the horror genre to the status of fine art. At the Academy Awards ceremony in 1992, Demme won an Oscar for his direction; Silence of the Lambs also snagged Oscars for Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodie Foster), and Best Damn Picture of the year.
Thanks to Demme’s amazing work and the support he received from the cast and producers, horror has become something major Hollywood studios are willing to invest in.
Related Article: RIP John Hurt: Actor Who Played Kane in “Alien” Has Passed Away
We are sad to report that Demme passed away:
The cause was esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease, according to a source close to the family. He was originally treated for the disease in 2010, but suffered from a recurrence in 2015, and his condition deteriorated in recent weeks.
Demme maintained a private personal life, but his career was marked by a remarkably versatile creative output that included acclaimed narratives and documentaries films stretching back to the early ’70s. He made his debut with the 1971 biker film “Angels Hard as They Come,” a Roger Corman production during the B-movie producer’s heyday, but his career reached another plane of critical and commercial success with a string of ’80s dramas, including “Melvin and Howard, “Swing Shift,” and “Something Wild.”
Condolences have been hitting Twitter all day long.
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
Jodie Foster's statement on the passing of "Silence of the Lambs" filmmaker Jonathan Demme: pic.twitter.com/4jRznyVOoz
— Stuart Oldham (@s_oldham) April 26, 2017
I'll never forget the rush of seeing THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS in a theater. Jonathan Demme was a masterful chameleon of a filmmaker.
— Richard Kelly (@JRichardKelly) April 26, 2017
— Slate (@Slate) April 26, 2017
All of us here at Horror Freak News would like to add our sincerest of condolences to the outpouring chorus. He was a 1 in a billion filmmaker who will be sorely missed.