'Tony Scott was my dear friend and I will really miss him': Tom Cruise pays tribute to Top Gun director after bridge suicide
Cruise worked with British-born director on Top Gun and Days of ThunderThe actor had been seen at Nevada's Naval Air Station, believed to be part of research for Top Gun sequel
21:17 GMT, 20 August 2012
Tom Cruise has paid tribute to Tony Scott in the wake of his tragic suicide.
The director behind the actor's hits Top Gun and Days of Thunder jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in LA yesterday.
The 68-year-old is understood to have been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer.
'Tony was my dear friend and I will really miss him,' Cruise, who was pictured leaving Madeos restaurant in LA last night looking sober, said in a statement.
Shock: Tom Cruise leaves Madeos restaurant just hours after friend and Top Gun director Tony Scott died
Devastated: The actor today offered his condolences to Scott's family
The Top Gun team: Jerry Bruckheimer, Cruise, Kelly McGillis and Scott at an event in 2010
'My deepest sorrow and thoughts are with his family at this time.'
He described Scott as 'a creative visionary whose mark on film is immeasurable.'
The British-born director, who is the
younger brother of filmmaker Ridley Scott, jumped from the bridge in California at
around 12.30pm on Sunday, authorities confirmed.
According to the Los Angeles Times, investigators found a note in Scott's black Toyota Prius, which was parked on the bridge.
The note had contact information, with a suicide note found later in his office.
Cruise worked with Scott both on Top Gun and 1990's Days Of Thunder, and worked with brother Ridley on 1985's Legend.
The aviation blockbuster was a huge hit for Scott and Cruise
Cruise was recently spotted at Nevada's Naval Air Station, believed to be part of research for a potential Top Gun sequel.
It was unclear whether Scott was ever signed on for the follow -up.
Scott was drafted in late to direct 1986's Top Gun.
Scott first heard about the project he was involved with another film,
Man On Fire, and Paramount had alternative director in mind for the
story about an elite fighter pilot training school.
Fortunately, Top Gun producers Don
Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer wanted him after seeing his work on a
glossy commercial about a jet plane, agreed to direct the movie.
Close friends: Tony Scott and Tom Cruise on the set of Days of Thunder
It became one of the highest-grossing films of 1986, taking in more than $176 million at the box office, and putting Cruise on the map as a Hollywood A-lister.
In the movie Cruise plays Lieutenant Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell, a young Naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.
He and his 'wingman Nick Goose' Bradshaw win places to train at the Navy's Fighter Weapons School.
The film depicts Maverick's progress through the training, his romance with a female instructor (Kelly McGillis), his overcoming a crisis of confidence following a fatal training accident, and the killing of several enemy pilots of unlisted nationality in a dogfight.
The pair tried to recreate the Top Gun magic with 1990's Days of Thunder
Featuring F-14 Fighter Jets, super bikes and an evocative soundtrack the film was not critically well received, but its public acclaim meant Scott became hot property.
Scott and Cruise tried to recreate the magic four years later with Days of Thunder.
The cast also included Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall and Randy Quaid and featured appearances by real life NASCAR racers, such as Rusty Wallace and Neil Bonnett.
It received mixed reviews from critics who were not impressed by the special effects and plot with some describing the film as 'Top Gun on wheels' or 'Top Gun in Race Cars!'.
However, Scott was able to answer any critics after securing another financial success with the film which once again earned Paramount more than $150million at the box office.
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