Jonathan Demme – ‘Stop Making Sense’ and ‘Silence Of The Lambs’ director – dead at 73

Director's peers have been paying tribute online

Director Jonathan Demme has passed away at the age of 73.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker is best known for his movies such as Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia. He also directed the seminal 1984 Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense.

News of Demme’s death was confirmed to Indiewire by the director’s family. He died this morning (April 26) from complications due to heart disease and esophageal cancer.


Demme had originally been treated for his cancer in 2010 but his illness returned in 2015. His condition is said to have declined over recent weeks.

Demme’s peers – and those he influenced – have been paying tribute to the director on social media. Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood wrote on Twitter: “Sad to hear that Jonathan Demme has passed.”

Shaun Of The Dead director Edgar Wright meanwhile tweeted: “Very sad to hear of the passing of the great Jonathan Demme. Admired his movies, his documentaries, his concert films. He could do anything… Too many great films to mention: Something Wild, Stop Making Sense, Silence Of The Lambs, Melvin & Howard, among countless varied others”.

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Kevin Smith wrote: “Dear God, no! I loved #JonathanDemme! He was my bridge to the Talking Heads, Harris & Hannibal, New Order and honest cinematic storytelling.”

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Demme is survived by his wife, Joanne Howard, and three children, Ramona, Brooklyn and Jos.

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