'Pink Floyd's The Wall' And 'Evita' Director Sir Alan Parker Has Died
Sir Alan Parker, the acclaimed British filmmaker behind 'Pink Floyd's The Wall' and 'Evita', has died at the age of 76 after a long illness, according to a statement put out by the British Film Institute.
The three-time BAFTA winner and two-time Oscar nominee directed a diverse range of 14 feature films between 1976 and 2003, from the stylized musicals Fame, Pink Floyd's The Wall, and Evita, to the horror noir Angel Heart, to the true-crime dramas Midnight Express and Mississippi Burning, and the literary adaptation Angela's Ashes. In total, his filmography combined to win 19 BAFTA awards, 10 Golden Globes and 10 Oscars. He received a CBE in 1995 and a knighthood in 2002. He was also an Officier des Arts et Letters (France). In 2013, he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship, the highest honor the British Academy can bestow.
Parker was born in Islington, North London on 14 February 1944, and began his career in copywriting and commercial director before finding his true calling as a feature film director. He was one of a generation of directors who came up through the British ad industry, alongside fellow stalwarts Ridley Scott and Hugh Hudson. He made his directorial debut with the 1976 gangster musical Bugsy Malone, notable for featuring an early role by Jodie Foster, which won five BAFTA Awards and spawned a stage musical written by Parker himself.
Beyond his commercial endeavors, Parker was also passionate about his efforts to help elevate and build upon the British film industry. He was a founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain,the founding Chairman of the UK Film Council, and prior to that he was Chairman of the BFI. In 2018, he donated his expansive collection of scripts and documents to the BFI's National Archive.
BFI Chairman Josh Berger paid tribute to Parker, writing
We are all mourning a true giant of British cinema. Alan Parker pushed boundaries and dared us to see films in a different light. His early career in advertising set him up perfectly to become the great storyteller he was, and with each new film he challenged those around him to make it the best. He had this unique ability to enthrall audiences with a brilliant treat every time. He really was one of the best.
Parker retired from directing in 2003 after the release of The Life of David Gale. According to a family spokeswoman, he spent his retirement silk screen printing and painting.
Parker is survived by his wife Lisa Moran-Parker, five children and seven grandchildren