Hollywood remembers British director Sir Alan Parker following his death at 76

Sir Alan Parker is seen at the BAFTA Fellowship drinks reception at the Savoy Hotel in London.
Sir Alan Parker is seen at the BAFTA Fellowship drinks reception at the Savoy Hotel in London.

Tributes have been paid to the British director Sir Alan Parker, following his death at the age of 76.

Sir Alan was known for a string of hit films in the 70s and 80s, including Bugsy Malone, Fame, Midnight Express and Mississippi Burning.

During a career notable for the variety as well as the quality of his work, he also made the 1996 musical drama Evita, starring Madonna.

Sir Alan, whose films won 19 Baftas, 10 Golden Globes and 10 Oscars, died on Friday morning following a lengthy illness.

The actor Ben Stiller was among those paying tribute, saying Sir Alan made “real” movies.

“So sad to hear of Alan Parker’s passing,” he said. ” What a great director who made what I consider ‘real’ movies. He inspired so many filmmakers: ‘Fame’, ‘Midnight Express,’ ‘Mississippi Burning’…Watch his films – they are some of the best of the 70s and 80s.”

Singer Peter Gabriel worked with Sir Alan on 1984 drama Birdy, creating the film’s score. The former Genesis singer said the late director had a “serious impact” on his life.

He said: “There’s a lot of wonderful work he has left us. He also had a serious impact on my own life as he was the first film director to think I might be able to create a film score.

“He was so encouraging, passionate and dedicated to saying something real with his films, and all delivered with his gentle and timely sense of humour. I only ever heard great things from all those he worked with.

“Thank you for so many good memories, Alan. That’s a wrap.”

Lord Lloyd Webber worked with Sir Alan on Evita and described him as “one of the few directors to truly understand musicals on screen”.

Actor Matthew Modine starred in Birdy and said being cast in the film “transformed my life”.

He added that Sir Alan “was a great artist” whose “films will live forever”.

Antonio Banderas starred in Evita and described Sir Alan as a “great director”.

He tweeted: “Dear Alan, goodbye. Thank you for having me in EVITA and thank you for your cinematography wisdom. Here we have all you’ve done, that it is much and good.”

Elijah Wood, best  known for starring in the Lord Of The Rings films, praised the depth of Sir Alan’s back catalogue.

He said: “The Wall, Angel Heart, The Commitments and Mississippi Burning representing just a bit of his extraordinary and diverse filmography. Such a legend.”

Actor Alec Baldwin, director Edgar Wright and James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli were also among those paying tribute, while both Bafta and the Academy of  Motion Picture Arts and Science shared praise for Sir Alan.

Sir Alan was born in Islington, London, on February 14, 1944, and began his career in advertising as a copywriter.

He graduated to writing and directing commercials, and in 1974 moved into long form drama when he directed the BBC film, The Evacuees, written by Jack Rosenthal.

Sir Alan wrote and directed his first feature film, Bugsy Malone, in 1975 – a musical pastiche of Hollywood gangster films of the 1930s with a cast of children.

Sir Alan’s second film, 1977’s Midnight Express, won two Oscars, six Golden Globes and four Baftas.

In 1981, he directed Pink Floyd – The Wall, the feature film adaptation of the band’s successful rock album, which became a cult classic among music fans.

In November 1995, he was made a CBE for services to the British film industry and he received his knighthood in 2002.

Sir Alan received the Bafta Academy Fellowship Award, the body’s highest honour, in 2013.

He is survived by his wife Lisa Moran-Parker, his children Lucy, Alexander, Jake, Nathan and Henry, and seven grandchildren.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here