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Jonathan Demme
Jonathan Demme

Academy Award wining director Jonathan Demme died in New York on Wednesday morning after reportedly battling esophageal cancer and suffering complications from heart disease. He was 73 years old.

Demme directed blockbusters such as The Silence of the Lambs, and Philadelphia, but he never strayed too far from the indie world, directing the indie comedy Something Wild starring Melanie Griffith, and introducing Ray Liotta; and Rachel Getting Married, starring Anne Hathaway.

In addition to indie films, Demme directed documentaries on high profile subjects including the Pretenders, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Jimmy Carter and Nelson Mandela, along with two documentaries about Haiti, 1988’s Haiti Dreams of Democracy and 2003’s The Agronomist.  Recently, Demme directed the 2016 music documentary Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids.

Demme is survived by second wife Joanne Howard and their three children: Ramona, Brooklyn and Jos.

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