ComingSoon.net is saddened to bring you the news (via The Hollywood Reporter) that Alan Parker, two-time Oscar-nominated director of such classics as Mississippi Burning and Evita, has died at the age of 76 after a lengthy battle with an illness not revealed.
The multiple awards victor, whose other films include Bugsy Malone, Evita and Mississippi Burning, died "following a lengthy illness", his family said in a statement.
The next year he wrote and directed his first feature, Bugsy Malone, an unusual and exuberant musical pastiche of gangster films with a cast of children, including a young Jodie Foster. Together his movies won 10 Academy Awards and 19 British Academy Film Awards.
Parker immediately followed it up with another critical and commercial smash in 1978's prison drama Midnight Express which, though receiving some criticism from the source material's author and for its portrayal of Turkish prisoners, would go on to receive six Oscar nominations including for Best Picture and Best Director and won two for Best Screenplay Based on Material From Another Medium for Oliver Stone (Snowden) and Best Original Score for Giorgio Moroder.
He received the Bafta Academy Fellowship Award, the body's highest honour, in 2013. Shoot the Moon was a family drama, Angel Heart an occult thriller and Mississippi Burning a powerful civil rights drama that was nominated for seven Academy Awards. His final directorial credit was 2003's The Life of David Gale, an unfortunately underwhelming end to an otherwise remarkable career.
A founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain, he was also chairman of the UK Film Council.
He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the film industry in 1995, and was knighted in 2002.
Parker was well-known for using a wide range of filmmaking styles and working in differing genres.
Fellow director David Puttnam said Parker "was my oldest and closest friend - I was always in awe of his talent".
"His work entertained us, connected us, and gave us such a strong sense of time and place", it said in a tweet, calling him "a chameleon" for his ability to bend genre and change with the times.
Parker is survived by his wife, his five children, and his seven grandchildren. My life and those of many others who loved and respected him will never be the same again'.