Alan Parker, two-time Oscar-nominated director, dies at 76
ComingSoon.net is saddened to bring you the news (via The Hollywood Reporter) that Alan Parker, two-time Oscar-nominated director of such classics as Mississippi Burning and Evita, has died at the age of 76 after a lengthy battle with an illness not revealed.
Parker had a highly-celebrated career that lasted over 30 years that began to take off in the mid ’70s with his feature directorial debut in 1976’s gangster musical comedy Bugsy Malone, which he wrote and directed and featured child actors portraying the adult characters. Though not a commercial success outside of the Parker’s home United Kingdom, it was a critical smash and garnered eight BAFTA nominations and three wins and three Golden Globe nominations.
Parker immediately followed it up with another critical and commercial smash in 1978’s prison drama Midnight Express which, though receiving some criticism from the source material’s author and for its portrayal of Turkish prisoners, would go on to receive six Oscar nominations including for Best Picture and Best Director and won two for Best Screenplay Based on Material From Another Medium for Oliver Stone (Snowden) and Best Original Score for Giorgio Moroder. 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 director would then soar to new heights with the 1988 biographical crime thriller Mississippi Burning starring Willem Dafoe and Gene Hackman, which, though receiving criticism for its depiction of real events, still received rave reviews from critics and was a solid box office success, netting seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Director and four Golden Globe nominations. Burning would almost act as Parker’s peak as his follow-up films, Come See the Paradise and The Road to Wellville received generally mixed reviews and were box office failures while The Commitments was underwhelming at the box office despite rave reviews and his 1976 adaptation of Evita saw mixed reviews but was a box office smash.
Parker would close out his career with the 1999 adaptation of Angela’s Ashes and the 2003 drama The Life of David Gale, both of which received generally mixed-to-negative reviews from critics and were financial disappointments.
Many fans and collaborators have taken to social media to express their grief over Parker’s death, some of which include:
(Photo Credit: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images)