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In Memoriam



Obituary Profiles of Entertainment Industry Figures And The Legacies They Leave Behind


Director Anthony Minghella Dead At 54

Director Anthony MinghellaDirector Anthony Minghella 

Thursday, March 20----Anthony Minghella, the British filmmaker who won an Academy Award for his direction of THE ENGLISH PATIENT in 1997, died Tuesday morning in London at the age of 54. The cause was a brain hemmorage, brought on by complications from surgery he underwent a week ago to treat tonsil cancer. 

Anthony Minghella was born on January 6, 1954, and grew up on the Isle of Wight, where his parents, immigrants from Italy, ran an ice cream factory. Minghella began his career writing scripts for British television programs, before his play MADE IN BANGKOK found mainstream success in London's West End in 1986. This led to his movie-directing debut of TRULY MADLY DEEPLY starring Alan Rickman, which had originally been made as a made-for-television production, but was released theatrically in 1990. Minghella went on to adapt a number of novels for a series of well-reviewed films.

In addition to winning the directing Oscar in 1997 for THE ENGLISH PATIENT— which garnered a total of nine Oscars, including Best PictureMinghella also received an adapted-screenplay nomination. In 2000 his screenplay for THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY was nominated as well. That same year Minghella joined fellow director Sydney Pollack to form Mirage, an independent production company that concluded a three-year first-look deal with the Weinstein Company earlier this month. They collaborated as producers on a number of films and worked on each other’s films as well, including COLD MOUNTAIN (2003). 

In the past few years, aside from continuing to develop projects for the big and small screens, Minghella found creative expression in directing grand operatic productions. His acclaimed staging of MADAME BUTTERFLY in 2006 at the English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera was a major success d’estime. He was recently commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera to direct and write the libretto for a new work by the composer Osvaldo Golijov that was scheduled for the 2011-12 season. 

Minghella and the Weinstein Company recently concluded a deal with HBO and the BBC to air the adaptation of the literary franchise THE NO. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY, an adaptation of an Alexander McCall Smith novel, which was filmed in Botswana, as the pilot of a series that was to have a 13-episode run on both networks. Minghella was also attached to write and direct the adaptation of Liz Jensen's France-based psychological thriller THE NINTH LIFE OF LOUIS DRAX, in development at the Weinstein Company, and had served as a producer on the recently wrapped THE READER, set for a fall release. 

Minghella had written but not yet cast or shot his segment of NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU, the follow-up to the city-centric set of romantic vignettes PARIS JE T’AIME. Shooting was set to start next month in Manhattan. Plans are for the segment to be shot by a different director, using Minghella’s script. 

Minghella was also a strong advocate for European cinema, British film in particular. He recently stepped down from his position as chairman of the British Film Institute, an organization that promotes making films in Britain. To lose someone so vitally involved in the creation of exciting new works is indeed a loss to the industry and to world culture in general. 

Sandy Mandelberger, In Memoriam Editor     

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About In Memoriam

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)




Obituary Profiles of Entertainment Industry Figures And The Legacies They Leave Behind

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