Tributes have flooded in from across the movie industry today for Sir Alan Parker, who directed films including Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express and Evita, after he died at the age of 76.
A statement from a spokeswoman, sent on behalf of the family, said Sir Alan died on Friday morning.
A giant figure in British film, his career included films such as Midnight Express, Evita and The Commitments – and his works won a total of 19 Baftas, 10 Golden Globes and 10 Oscars.
Leading the tributes today James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli paid homage to the film icon and said: ‘I am heartbroken at the news of Sir Alan Parker’s passing.
Film director Sir Alan Parker, pictured, has died at the age of 76, a spokeswoman has said
James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli (left with Sir Alan) said she was ‘heartbroken’ at the news of Sir Alan Parker’s passing
A giant figure in British film, his career includes Midnight Express, Evita (pictured with stars Madonna and Antonio Banderas) and The Commitments
‘It is an enormous loss to the world of cinema and a huge personal loss to his devoted family and friends who loved and admired him.
‘His work always exhibited the elements of his personality that we so cherished; integrity, humanity, humour and irreverence and rebellion, and most certainly entertainment.
‘He exhibited a curiosity that enabled his versatility from musicals such as Bugsy Malone, Fame and Pink Floyd – The Wall and to films about social justice such as Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning and The Life Of David Gale. He never made the same film twice.
‘His love of cinema as an art form began in his early childhood at the Carlton House cinema in Islington where he would ‘escape and dream’ and remained with him throughout his career.’
Born in Islington, north London in 1962, Sir Alan began his career with the advertising agency Collett Dickenson Pearce as a copywriter, where he worked alongside David Puttnam, Charles Saatchi, and Alan Marshall.
He then went on to create S.W.A.L.K. (‘sealed with a loving kiss’), which was produced by David Puttnam and directed by Waris Hussein, and released as Melody in 1970.
In 1974 he moved into long form drama when he directed the BBC film, The Evacuees, written by Jack Rosenthal.
Sir Alan wrote and directed his first feature film, Bugsy Malone, in 1975 – a musical pastiche of Hollywood gangster films of the 1930s with a cast of children.
His second film, 1977’s Midnight Express, won two Oscars, six Golden Globes and four Baftas.
In 1981, he directed Pink Floyd – The Wall, the feature film adaptation of the band’s successful rock album, which became a cult classic among music fans.
In November 1995, he was made a CBE for services to the British film industry and he received his knighthood in 2002.
Sir Alan received the Bafta Academy Fellowship Award, the body’s highest honour, in 2013.
Sir Sean Connery, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Vanessa Redgrave, Sir Christopher Lee, Martin Scorsese and Mike Leigh have also been awarded the fellowship.
His works have won a total of 19 Baftas, 10 Golden Globes and 10 Oscars. Pictured: Sir Alan giving Mickey Rourke direction in Angel Heart
He wrote and directed his first feature film, Bugsy Malone, in 1975 – a musical pastiche of Hollywood gangster films of the 1930s with a cast of children.
In 2018, the renowned director donated his significant private collection of scripts and working papers to the BFI National Archive.
Today fellow director David Puttnam said: ‘Alan was my oldest and closest friend, I was always in awe of his talent. My life and those of many others who loved and respected him will never be the same again.’
While director Nick Murphy described Sir Alan as a ‘huge talent’ in a tweet, writing: ‘Alan Parker made so many wonderful movies. Just wonderful. A huge talent. As I’m sure you know. RIP Alan Parker.’
Meanwhile Bafta wrote on Twitter: ‘We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Bafta Fellow Alan Parker.
‘As Bafta-winning filmmaker, he brought us joy with Bugsy Malone, The Commitments, Midnight Express and many more.’
And the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, which hands out the Oscars, added: ‘From Fame to Midnight Express, two-time Oscar nominee Alan Parker was a chameleon.
‘His work entertained us, connected us, and gave us such a strong sense of time and place. An extraordinary talent, he will be greatly missed.’
Sir Alan’s last major success came with the 1996 musical drama Evita, in which Madonna played the leading role of Argentina’s late first lady Eva Peron.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose composed the music for the film, said of Sir Alan: ‘[He was] my friend and collaborator on the Evita movie and one of the few directors to truly understand musicals on screen.
Sir Alan is survived by his wife Lisa Moran-Parker, his children Lucy, Alexander, Jake, Nathan and Henry, and seven grandchildren.