One of Britain’s greatest film directors, Alan Parker, is dead. The creator of such films as “Bugsy Malone”, “Fame”, “The Wall”, “Bird”, “Mississippi on Fire” and “Evita”, died on Friday at the age of 76, his family said.
He was nominated for an Oscar twice and three times for the Golden Globes in the best director category. While he has not received such awards for directing, his films have won a total of 10 Oscars, as well as 10 Golden Globes and 19 BAFTA Awards – four of which went to Parker himself.
Director of film classics
Born in London in 1944, Parker began his career in advertising as a copywriter and then began writing and directing commercials. He entered film in 1975 when he directed the BBC TV production “The Evacuees”, which won a BAFTA award.
The following year he made the first of his most famous films, a pastiche of gangster films “Bugsy Malone”, and in the following years, among others, “Midnight Express” (1978), “Fame” (1980), “The Wall” (1982) with Bob Geldof in the lead role, “Bird” (1984) with Nicholas Cage, “Harry Angel” (1987) with Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro, “Mississippi on Fire” (1988) with Willem Dafoe and Gene Hackman, “The Commitments” (1991) and “The Road to Wellville” (1994).
Established in 1996, “Evita”, which is an adaptation of the musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas, turned out to be a great commercial success. He also made music videos for Madonna’s songs from “Evita”. His last film was “Zycie za życia” in 2003, starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet.
Creator of many genres
Parker has been known to have successfully directed films as diverse as musicals, drama, comedies, and thrillers and horror films.
He was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Director category for “Midnight Express” and “Mississippi on Fire”. In turn, he was awarded a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for “Bird”.
In 1995, Parker was honored with the Order of the British Empire for his services to the British film industry, and in 2002 with the title of knighthood. In 2013, he received the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, the highest distinction of the British Academy of Film and Television.
As reported, he died after a long illness.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / ANDY RAIN