‘Talented’ Minghella no more
Anthony Minghella, a screenwriter, opera director and Oscar-winning filmmaker of The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Cold Mountain, has died unexpectedly at the age of 54.
Minghella died on Tuesday of a hemorrhage, five days before the British TV premiere of his final film, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.
Spokesman Jonathan Rutter said Minghella died early on Tuesday at London’s Charing Cross Hospital. Rutter said Minghella was operated on last week for a growth in his neck. He said the operation “seemed to have gone well. At 5 am today he had a fatal hemorrhage.”
Britain’s arts community reacted with shock to the loss of one of its best known and best-liked figures. Tributes poured in from people as diverse as movie star Jude Law, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the president of Botswana. Law, who appeared in three of Minghella’s films, said he was “deeply shocked and saddened” at the loss of a friend and colleague.
“He was a sweet, warm, bright and funny man who was interested in everything from football to opera, films, music, literature, people and most of all his family whom he adored and to whom I send my thoughts and love,” said Law, who appeared in Minghella’s films The Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain and Breaking and Entering. “I shall miss him hugely.”
Blair, who became friends with Minghella after the filmmaker directed a Labour Party election ad in 2005, said Minghella was “a wonderful human being, creative and brilliant, but still humble, gentle and a joy to be with.”
“Whatever I did with him, personally or professionally, left me with complete admiration for him, as a character and as an artist of the highest caliber,” Blair said.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Minghella was “one of Britain’s greatest creative talents, one of our finest screenwriters and directors, a great champion of the British film industry and an expert on literature and opera.”
Minghella also turned his talents to opera.