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'I Function Off Fear,' Said Director Tony Scott, Who Died Sunday

Neda Ulaby on 'Morning Edition'

The death Sunday of director Tony Scott, who appears to have jumped from a Los Angeles County bridge in what's being investigated as a suicide, has "shocked Hollywood and the fans of his memorable movies," as NPR's Neda Ulaby said earlier on Morning Edition.

Scott, 68, was best known, as Neda said, "for adrenalized action films including Top Gun and Days of Thunder."

Tony Scott in a 2009 file photo. i i

hide captionTony Scott in a 2009 file photo.

Robyn Beck /AFP/Getty Images
Tony Scott in a 2009 file photo.

Tony Scott in a 2009 file photo.

Robyn Beck /AFP/Getty Images

For him to have ended his own life is a puzzle. He appeared, on the outside at least, to be someone who thrived on the high-stakes world of making big-budget movies. "It's not draining," he once told The Guardian, "it's exhilarating. "I function off fear and the most scary thing I do is shooting movies."

The brother of director Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner and others), Tony Scott had in recent years gotten considerable acclaim for his work producing such TV shows as The Good Wife and Numb3rs.

But Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Times:

"Several witnesses told police they saw Scott get out of his Toyota Prius, which was parked on the bridge, about 12:30 p.m. Then he scaled an 8- to 10-foot fence and jumped off without any hesitation, law enforcement sources said.

"A source said officials looked inside the car and determined it belonged to the famed action-movie director and producer. A note listing contact information was inside. A suicide note was later found in his office. Its contents were not revealed."

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