Oscar-Winning Director Jonathan Demme Dead at 73

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Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning director of “Silence of the Lambs,” died Tuesday. He was 73.

A source close to the family told Indiewire that Demme died in New York due to esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease. Demme’s rep confirmed his death to The Associated Press. 

Following the 1991 success of “The Silence of the Lambs,” Demme filmed “Philadelphia,” one of the first major studio films to chronicle the AIDS crisis. The film won Tom Hanks his first Oscar for playing a gay lawyer.

Most recently, Demme, who counts “Rachel Getting Married,” “Beloved,” and “Something Wild” among his many film credits, directed the Meryl Streep comedy “Ricki and the Flash” in 2015 and the concert documentary “Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids” in 2016.

He also directed the 1984 Talking Heads concert film “Stop Making Sense.”  

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