North East born film director Tony Scott has died after jumping from a bridge in Los Angeles, US authorities have said.
The 68-year-old, originally from North Shields, was best known for Hollywood blockbusters Top Gun, Days Of Thunder and Beverley Hills Cop II. He was the younger brother of film-maker Ridley Scott.
Scott apparently leapt from the Vincent Thomas Bridge spanning San Pedro and Terminal Island in Los Angeles. Lieutenant Joe Bale of the Los Angeles County Coroner's office said Scott's death was being treated as a suicide.
A US Coast Guard spokeswoman told a local newspaper a suicide note was found inside Scott's car, which was found parked on an eastbound lane of the bridge.The Los Angeles Times said the note in Scott's car listed contact information and a suicide note was later found at his office.
Film director Duncan Jones, who directed Moon and Source Code, wrote on Twitter: "Just heard about Tony Scott news. Horrible... Tony was a truly lovely man who took me under his wing & ignited my passion to make films."
He added: "Awww Tony. Wish you had felt there was a way to keep going. What a sad waste. My thoughts go out to his wife and beautiful children."
In another tweet director Ron Howard said: "No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day."
Several people called emergency services at about 12.35pm local time on Sunday to report that someone had jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge, said Lieutenant Tim Nordquist of Los Angeles police.
A dive team with the city's port police pulled the body from the water several hours later. Scott's body was taken to a dock in Wilmington and handed over to the county coroner's office.
The Scott brothers ran Scott Free Productions and were working on a film called Killing Lincoln, based on the best-seller by Bill O'Reilly.
Tony Scott was married to actress Donna Scott and the pair have twin sons.
Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise, was one of the highest-grossing films of 1986. The pair worked together again four years later on the hit Days Of Thunder.