Commitments director Alan Parker dies aged 76

Alan Parker Two Time Oscar-Nominated Director Dies at 76

"Evita" and "Bugsy Malone" director Sir Alan Parker has died at the age of 76.

A statement from the director's family says Parker died Friday in London after a long illness. Together his movies won 10 Academy Awards, 10 Golden Globes and 19 British Academy Film Awards.

His 1978 dark drama Midnight Express, about a United States student who ended up in a Turkish prison, was followed in 1980 by the genre-setting American teen musical drama Fame.

He went on to earn his first Oscar nomination for best director for 1978 prison drama "Midnight Express", which won Oliver Stone the Best Screenplay prize. Grim, brutal, and deeply upsetting, the film represented a trend that would become common across Parker's career: a willingness and ability to pivot successfully from one genre to the next. His streak would continue with the six Oscar-nominated and two-winning teen musical drama Fame, the Golden Globe-nominated drama Shoot the Moon, the infamous film adaptation of Pink Floyd - The Wall, the Matthew Modine and Nicolas Cage-starring adaptation of Birdy and the Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro-starring psychological horror pic Angel Heart, all of which received generally positive-to-rave reviews though the latter two were box office disappointments. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and a second nomination for Parker himself.

He also directed true-story dramas, including Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning, Come See the Paradise and Angela's Ashes.


Parker was well-known for using a wide range of filmmaking styles and working in differing genres. His final directorial credit was 2003's The Life of David Gale, an unfortunately underwhelming end to an otherwise remarkable career. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, and in 2013 received the British film academy's highest honor, the BAFTA Fellowship.

The filmmaker served as chairman of the Board of Governors of the BFI in 1998, and as the first chairman of the U.K. Film Council the following year.

Tributes flooded in from across the movie industry, with fellow director David Puttnam saying: 'Alan was my oldest and closest friend, I was always in awe of his talent.

Parker is survived by his wife, his five children, and his seven grandchildren.

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