'English Patient' director dead at 54
A sweeping epic that swept the Academy Awards has lost its visionary.
"The English Patient" director Anthony Minghella passed away early Tuesday in London. Details have yet to emerge how the director died, but his agent, Judy Daish, confirmed that Minghella had passed away. "I can confirm that Anthony died this morning," was all she said in her statement. The director scored a Best Director statue for himself to compliment the eight other awards "The English Patient" earned including Best Picture. After the enormous success of the Ralph Fiennes starring film, Minghella directed Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in the gripping "The Talented Mr. Ripley." Then what would prove to be his final stroke of cinematic greatness, Minghella directed "Cold Mountain." The stark contrasts he brought to the African desert in "Patient" he masterfully weaved into a Civil War story starring Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger in the role that won her an Oscar, and Law. His final film was 2006's "Breaking and Entering" starring his acting muse, Law, in what would be his third film with the director. Minghella was 54 and was currently the chairman of the British Film Institute. Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 2001.