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.
Born in North Shields, his north-eastern accent is still audible despite having lived and worked in California for decades.
In this BFI archive footage, a young Tony Scott is seen starring in his brother Ridley's very first film, Boy and Bicycle, shot when still a student at the Royal College of Art.
Film critic James King said the industry had been left in shock by Scott's death, adding that the director would be remembered for his "edge-of-your-seat thrillers".
He told Sky News:
Go buy his films, watch his films, and you'll see an incredibly confident director, so for that person to have taken their own life just seems utterly bizarre.
I think he'll be remembered as one of the ultimate action directors. He wasn't ashamed by that.
Maybe some critics had a go at him because his films weren't intellectually challenging. But when they looked as good as they did, who cares? They were incredibly stylish.
He trained in fine art, he was an artist.
Tony Scott's body was recovered from Los Angeles Harbour water several hours after members of the public called police at around 12:35pm local time (7.30pm BST) to report that someone had jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge, the Associated Press reports.
The reports adds that a note with contact information was found in Scott's car and a suicide note was later found in his office.
Nick Frost is a British comic actor:
Terribly sad news about Tony Scott. Rest in peace.
Elijah Wood is best known for his role as Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings trilogy:
awful news about Tony Scott. rest in peace.
James Corden is a British comedian and actor:
Just heard the news about Tony Scott. So very sad. May he rest in peace.
Ron Howard directed Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code:
No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day
Adam Shankman is a TV producer, director and choreographer whose credits include Glee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Wedding Planner:
My heart stopped when I heard of the tragic death of 1 of r most inspiring directors, Tony Scott. Rest In Peace Tony. U will be missd so...
Mark Romanek directed feature films Never Let Me Go and One Hour Photo as well as numerous music videos for the likes of Coldplay, Madonna, David Bowie and Michael Jackson:
Tony Scott was incredibly encouraging to me at an early stage of my career. He was generous, gregarious & immensely talented. Sadness.
Edgar Wright is a British film director, writer and producer whose credits include Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Tintin:
I just woke up to hear about Tony Scott. Can't believe it. As I hope was evident in my work, I was big fan of his. Rest In Peace, sir.
'The Last Boy Scout', 'True Romance', 'Crimson Tide', 'Man On Fire' and yes, 'Domino' too. Tony Scott was a rambunctious cinematic spirit.
Philip Bloom is a cameraman and filmmaker:
Authorities in America say the director of 'Top Gun', Tony Scott, has died after jumping off a bridge in Los Angeles.Read the full story ›
Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are reported as having reached a settlement less than two weeks after the actress filed for divorce.Read the full story ›
He may going through a difficult time in his personal life after the recent announcement that his wife Katie Holmes has filed for divorce, but on-screen at least, things are going as well for Tom Cruise.
Here is the first official trailer for Cruise's upcoming action film Jack Reacher which will be released in the UK on December 21.
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures