Los Angeles’ Vincent Thomas Bridge would be a perfect location for some high-octane Tony Scott movie. Scott may never have filmed a scene there, but apparently that’s where he wanted to die. On Aug. 19, the British director of such supercharged Americana as Top Gun, Unstoppable and Days of Thunder climbed over a fence on the bridge and jumped off. At 68, Scott had directed and starred in his last action scene.
Half the hacks in Hollywood want to think of themselves as brilliant creators; Scott, who had an art-school degree, knew he was a technician. In the machine art of moviemaking, that is an honorable calling. Efficiency can be a form of artistry, and Scott often reached that level of surpassing craftsmanship.
This text originally appeared in the Sept. 3, 2012 issue of TIME magazine.
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