Tony Scott: Witnesses tell LAPD they saw director leap from bridge
Investigators probing the death of "Top Gun" director Tony Scott are talking to witnesses who saw the filmmaker jump to his death from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro.
Los Angeles police first learned of the incident after 12:30 p.m. from a 911 caller who said that an unidentified man had leaped off the suspension bridge that connects San Pedro and Terminal Island. It's a 185-foot fall from the bridge roadway to the waters of the L.A. Harbor.
Several witnesses told police they saw Scott get out of his Toyota Prius, which was parked on the bridge, about 12:30 p.m. Then he scaled an 8- to 10-foot fence and jumped off without any hesitation, law enforcement sources said.
Authorities have been talking to those on the bridge at the time of the incident.
A source said officials looked inside the car and determined it belonged to the famed action-movie director and producer. A note in the car had contact information for his wife. A suicide note was later found in his office. Its contents were not revealed.
His body was pulled out of the water several hours later by divers from the Los Angeles Port Police.
The L.A. County coroner's office identified Scott on Sunday evening.
Scott was a respected director and producer who made "Man on Fire," "Enemy of the State" and "Beverly Hills Cop II."
The last film he directed was "Unstoppable," a 2010 thriller about a runaway freight train.
His career in television included executive producing the series "The Good Wife" and "Numb3rs," both on CBS.
The British director, who lived in Beverly Hills, was best known for the 1986 hit "Top Gun," starring Tom Cruise as a Navy aviator. The movie grossed $21.6 million in its first 11 days of release.
Scott was one of three sons born to working-class parents in northern England.
He established his career as a commercial director and continued to make television spots late into his career. Before becoming a filmmaker, Scott was a painter.
Distinguished by a kinetic visual style that aimed to take audiences into his high-octane action scenes, Scott also produced a number of blockbuster movies, most recently "Prometheus," directed by his brother Ridley Scott, and "The A-Team."
Scott was also preparing to produce a science-fiction drama called "Ion" and had served as executive producer on "Stoker," set to come out next March.
His debut feature, 1983's vampire movie "The Hunger," starred Catherine Deneuve and established Scott's cinematic style. He followed that movie with "Top Gun," which not only boosted the career of Tom Cruise but also ushered in a series of Scott's action movies, which included "Days of Thunder," also starring Cruise, and "Crimson Tide," starring Denzel Washington.
While his movies were consistent box-office hits, he rarely attracted critical praise and was never nominated for an Academy Award.
He was more successful with reviewers in television, however, for his work on "The Good Wife."
Simon Halls, a spokesman for Scott's family, confirmed the death and said the family asked "that their privacy be respected at this time."
Scott was married three times and had twin sons with his third wife, actress and model Donna Wilson.
--Richard Winton, Andrew Blankstein and John Horn