‘Top Gun’ director on drugs when jumped to death
LOS ANGELES — “Top Gun” director Tony Scott had traces of anti-depressant and sleep-inducing drugs in his body when he killed himself by jumping from a California bridge, according to coroners.
Scott did not have any life-threatening conditions including cancer, the Los Angeles County Coroner said on Monday.
Hollywood was left stunned when the 68-year-old, whose action thriller work also included “Days of Thunder,” died in August after jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge over Los Angeles Harbor.
The LA County coroner’s office said autopsy results showed therapeutic levels of the antidepressant mirtazapine, trade name Remeron, and the sleep aid zopiclone, trade name Lunesta, in his system.
The cause of death was suicide caused by multiple blunt force injuries and drowning, said coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter.
Chief coroner investigator Craig Harvey told the LA Times that Scott had no serious underlying conditions. “There was no evidence of neoplasia — cancer — identified,” Harvey told the newspaper.
Initial reports after his death suggested Scott had been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, but his widow Donna Wilson dismissed the rumors as “absolutely false”
Scott was the younger brother of fellow film director Ridley Scott, the maker of Oscar-winning movies like “Gladiator” and “Black Hawk Down” as well as other hits like “Blade Runner.”
Born in Britain in 1944, he made his mark in the mid-1980s when he directed “Top Gun,” an action-filled blockbuster about elite navy pilots featuring then-rising star Tom Cruise.
Scott also directed “Enemy of the State,” “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Spy Game,” “Unstoppable” and “Crimson Tide,” a submarine thriller starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington.
A prolific filmmaker, Scott had more that 30 new projects in the pipeline, including “Top Gun 2,” a sequel to the original movie, where Cruise was again expected to play the lead role.
Scott and Wilson, his third wife, had twin sons.