'Silence of the Lambs' director Jonathan Demme dead at 73

AP

Director Jonathan Demme died in New York Wednesday morning at age 73, according to a report from IndieWire. Demme is perhaps best known for his Oscar-winning horror film, The Silence of the Lambs

Per IndieWire, Demme died from esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease, for which he was first treated in 2010. Issues resurfaced in 2015, and his condition worsened in the weeks prior to his death.

While Demme's most noteworthy film is The Silence of the Lambs — still the only horror movie to win Best Picture at the Oscars, and it also earned Demme the Best Director award — the director had a versatile career. He helmed the acclaimed Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, as well as films Philadelphia (which garnered Tom Hanks his first Oscar) and Rachel Getting Married. Demme's latest feature film was the 2015 drama Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Streep. He also directed the 2016 concert film Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids.

One of Demme's final works as a director is the sixth episode of Fox's drama Shots Fired, will air Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern. 

With the news of Demme's death, those within the industry — directors, actors and critics — offered their condolences and celebrated his artistic achievements on Twitter: