Apr 26, 2017 12:03 PM EST

Director Jonathan Demme Dies at 73

Director Jonathan Demme Dies at 73
Jonathan Demme, the Academy Award-winning director, has died. He was 73.

Demme had a long and successful career, with films including "Silence of the Lambs", "Philadelphia", "Melvin and Howard, "Swing Shift," and "Something Wild."  His directorial debut came in 1971 with the biker film "Angels Hard as They Come".  

He also directed the Meryl Streep film "Ricki and the Flash" in 2015 and a Justin Timberlake concert documentary titled "Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids" in 2016.  

Demme has esophageal cancer and that, along with complications from heart disease, was the cause of death.  His cancer was discovered in 2010 and returned in 2015. He had taken a turn for the worse in the past few weeks. 

The director is survived by wife, Joanne Howard, and their three children.

Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images
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