Tributes have been paid to Top Gun director Tony Scott after he jumped to his death from a bridge in Los Angeles.
The 68-year-old, originally from North Shields, was best known for Hollywood blockbusters including Days Of Thunder and Beverly Hills Cop II. He was the younger brother of film-maker Ridley Scott.
Scott leapt from the Vincent Thomas Bridge spanning San Pedro and Terminal Island in Los Angeles.
Lieutenant Joe Bale of Los Angeles County Coroner's office said Scott's death was being treated as a suicide.
A US Coast Guard spokeswoman told local newspaper The Daily Breeze that a suicide note was found inside Scott's car, a black Toyota Prius, which was found parked on an eastbound lane of the bridge.
Tom Cruise, who starred in Top Gun, paid tribute to the film director calling him a "creative visionary whose mark on film is immeasurable".
"Tony was my dear friend and I will really miss him ... My deepest sorrow and thoughts are with his family at this time."
Denzel Washington, frequently the leading man in his films including Crimson Tide and The Taking Of Pelham 123, said:
"Tony Scott was a great director, a genuine friend and it is unfathomable to think that he is now gone.
"He had a tremendous passion for life and for the art of film-making and was able to share this passion with all of us through his cinematic brilliance," he added.
One source told the New York Post:
He has been suffering from cancer and he had a relapse. He wasn’t depressed, he was a lovely guy. On Sundays everyone went to his house, there would be the guy who worked in his local restaurant sitting by the pool by Michael Caine.
Many famous names in the film industry paid tribute to Scott on Twitter:
Prayers And Blessings To The Family Of Fellow Director Tony Scott And Brother Ridley.God Bless You.From @SpikeLee on Twitter:
Saddened by the death of Tony Scott. A wonderful film maker and a funny, sweet guy. My condolences to his family.From @SusanSarandon on Twitter:
No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic dayFrom @RealRonHoward on Twitter:
The coroner's office says there is no evidence to suggest Scott's death is anything but suicide.
An post mortem will be carried out.
Film critic James King said the industry had been left in shock by Scott's death, adding the director would be remembered for his "edge-of-your-seat thrillers".
ITV News' Washington correspondent Robert Moore reports:
Speaking on Film 4 about his career, Tony Scott once said:
"I love reaching in and touching these worlds I've never touched before...it's fun, it's exciting."
He described his artistic background: "I was a painter - I spent eight years at art school painting, and I still think like a painter. Directing is very similar."
"There's a lot of people out there that influence me - my brother had a huge influence, Ridley's a little older than I am and I helped him make his first movie," he said.
- Samaritans is available for anyone in any type of distress on 08457 90 90 90 in the UK or visit their website www.samaritans.org.