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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2008, 09:10 GMT
In quotes: Anthony Minghella tributes
Friends and colleagues of Anthony Minghella have been paying tribute to the film director, who has died from a haemorrhage at the age of 54.

ACTOR JUDE LAW

I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear of Anthony's untimely death.

Jude Law
Jude Law and Anthony Minghella worked together in three films
I worked with him on three films, more than with any other director, but had come to value him more as a friend than as a colleague.

He was a brilliantly talented writer and director who wrote dialogue that was a joy to speak and then put it onto the screen in a way that always looked effortless.

He made work feel like fun. He was a sweet, warm, bright and funny man who was interested in everything from football to opera, films, music, literature, people and most of all his family, whom he adored and to whom I send my thoughts and love.

I shall miss him hugely.

UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN

I was deeply saddened to be told about Anthony's death.

Minghella-directed Labour Party broadcast
Minghella directed a Labour Party broadcast in 2005
My thoughts are with his wife, Carolyn, his children, Max and Hannah, and his other family and friends.

He was one of Britain's greatest creative talents, one of our finest screenwriters and directors, a great champion of the British film industry and expert on literature and opera.

I knew him as a great friend, as did Sarah and our family.

He will be deeply missed but his contribution to British culture will be remembered for many years to come.

ACTOR KEVIN SPACEY

He was one of the greats and anybody who loves storytelling will realise that he had much more to do and it's an incredibly sad moment.

I just found out and he was a great man and a great friend.

ACTOR RALPH FIENNES

Anthony possessed a sensitivity and alertness to the actor's process that very few directors have.

Anthony Minghella
Minghella won an Oscar for directing The English Patient
He directed most of The English Patient with an ankle in plaster, never losing his gentle humour and precision.

He delighted in the contribution of everyone - he was a true collaborator.

His films deal with extreme aloneness and the redemptive power of love, even at the moment of death.

I will remember him as a man who always wanted to get to the heart of the matter.

ACTRESS GYWNETH PALTROW

I'm quite shocked, actually. He was a wonderful man.
He was incredibly talented and so interested in art and making the world better for art.

FILM PRODUCER HARVEY WEINSTEIN

I am shocked and heartbroken that we have lost Anthony. He was my mentor, my partner and, most of all, my brother. The grace, joy and tenderness he brought to his films were symbolic of his life and the many people he touched. There are many personal and professional moments we have shared together and I will treasure them for the rest of my life. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family at this difficult moment.

FILM DIRECTOR AND PRODUCTION PARTNER SYDNEY POLLACK

Anthony was a realistic romanticist. A kind of poet, disciplined by reality, an academic by training, a musician by nature, a compulsive reader by habit, and to most observers, a sunny soul who exuded a gentleness that should never have been mistaken for lack of tenacity and resolve.

The cliche that you don't know anyone well until you've lived through wars with them, is an absolute truth. Sometimes making films is a form of war. Having weathered several with Anthony, I will tell you that his dignity never softened, his artistry never suffered, and his mind remained as sharp and clear in wartime as it was in quietude.

DIRECTOR LORD PUTTNAM

This was a very special person and I think the industry will be very shocked by this because he wasn't just a writer/director, he was someone who was very well known and very well loved within the film community and far, far too young to have gone.

Lord Puttnam
Lord Puttnam produced Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire
He said in a lecture last week that he saw himself as a writer who happened to direct, which I think was probably right. He started as a writer, he was not a stylist as a director - he saw himself as a storyteller and his films were very well told, beautifully made and beautifully acted.

He had recently branched out brilliantly into opera - this is a pretty considerable human being.

It is tragic, in a sense, that I can't remember being so stunned by someone being snatched away from us this early on with so much to offer.

BBC CREATIVE DIRECTOR ALAN YENTOB

This is a terrible shock.

Anthony was not only a wonderful film-maker but also a great champion of British cinema, an elegant advocate for the craft and a marvellous mentor for new talent.

This news is hard to take for all of us and especially his family.

STEPHEN FREARS, DIRECTOR AND BFI GOVERNOR

He seemed to go effortlessly from being an academic to being a playwright to working on Grange Hill and writing episodes of Morse and making BBC films and then, with one bound, to a film on the scale of David Lean.

Actors adored him because he was paternalistic and generous with them; and he had a Gargantuan side. His first cuts would run to 5 hours which he would gradually whittle away.

No one has ever worked as hard as he did when he first became chair of the BFI. He didn't have that English fear of emotion, that fear of sentimentality and so his films had great breadth. I'd say he was first and foremost a writer and only secondarily a director. He said so himself in a lecture last week.

Of course that made each of his films unique.

JOHN BERRY, ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA

He was a big, generous, warm-hearted person.

He was a friend to the company and everyone who worked with him. We didn't see him as a pushy director in any way. He was so inspiring, so generous.

He always had a love and passion for opera and he'd always had a burning ambition to direct opera.

The journey producing Madama Butterfly is a journey I will remember forever. Our audience is going to miss his beautiful and stunning work.

We had two more projects with him and we were so much looking forward to working with him.

AMANDA NEVILL, DIRECTOR OF THE BFI

We are incredibly shocked and saddened as Anthony was so hugely loved across the BFI and so greatly admired throughout the film world and across the whole cultural landscape. He was an inspirational and charismatic figure who truly understood the power of film to change our understanding of the world we live in.

Anthony Minghella was Chair of the British Film Institute from 2003 to 2007





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