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Tony Scott: Maker of action films, including 'Top Gun' (+video)

Tony Scott, director of 'Top Gun,' 'Crimson Tide,' 'Enemy of the State,' and 'Man on Fire,' died Sunday. Police say the death of Tony Scott was being investigated as a suicide.

By David GermainAssociated Press / August 20, 2012

Director Tony Scott arrives at the premiere of "Unstoppable" in Los Angeles. Authorities say Scott died after jumping off a bridge in Los Angeles on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012.

(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas, File)

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Los Angeles

No one ever mistook Tony Scott for a great dramatist. He was a director critics loved to hate for his slick barrage of images at the expense of story. The filmmaker did not dazzle the imagination with visions of lost or alien worlds, like brother Ridley Scott.

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Tony Scott was as populist as they come in Hollywood, a man of action films, pure and simple. From Tom Cruise as a daring fly boy in 1986's "Top Gun" to Denzel Washington mutinying against an unstable captain in 1995's "Crimson Tide" or trying to slow a runaway train in 2010's "Unstoppable," director Scott mastered sky, sea and earth in the name of movie adrenaline.

The 68-year-old Scott died Sunday after jumping from a Los Angeles County bridge, authorities said. His death was being investigated as a suicide, Los Angeles County Coroner's Lt. Joe Bale said.

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It was a puzzling end for a filmmaker who had maintained a busy pace, with a sequel to "Top Gun," his biggest hit, in the works.

"I can confirm that Tony Scott has passed away. The family asks that their privacy is respected at this time," Scott's spokesman, Simon Halls, said in a statement.

The younger brother of Ridley Scott, whose Roman epic "Gladiator" won best-picture at the Academy Awards for 2000, Tony Scott was partners with his sibling in a production company, collaborating on film, TV, and advertising projects.

But despite blockbuster success on some of his own movies, Tony Scott always was overshadowed by his brother, a three-time directing nominee at the Oscars whose films include "Alien," ''Blade Runner," ''Thelma and Louise" and this summer's "Prometheus."

Tony Scott never was in the running for an Oscar, and critics often slammed his movies for his hyper-kinetic style and an emphasis on style over substance.

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