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why-did-tony-scott-commit-suicideTony Scott Jumps Off Bridge- But Why?

It is a sad day in Hollywood.  Tony Scott, movie director of such hits as "Top Gun," "Beverly Hills Cop II," and "Days of Thunder” has died after committing suicide by jumping off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles.  Witnesses called 911 to report that someone had jumped from the bridge.  A dive team was sent in to retrieve the body, which is now at the coroner’s office.

Tony Scott's suicide note was found in his office along with other notes to loved ones in his car.  Tony Scott’s suicide is a shock. 

Why would a successful filmmaker with a beautiful wife and twin sons kill himself? Why would Tony Scott kill himself? Twitter is loaded with tweets from famous actors and us “regulars” mourning the Tony Scott death.

Was Tony Scott Depressed?

It has just been reported that the famed film director had inoperable brain cancer.  The British-born, younger brother of famous director Ridley Scott had enjoyed great success as a filmmaker and was working on a Top Gun sequel with Tom Cruise. Top Gun director Tony Scott was reportedly an “adrenaline junkie,” driving race cars, motorcycles and climbing rocks in his leisure.  Yet, he said that film making was his biggest thrill, stating that it was dangerous and scary.  Scott talked of fear of failure and letting down the actors that played parts in his films as he directed.

Ridley Scott, Tony Scott’s older brother has enjoyed success as a director, even surpassing his brother with movie hits such as “Gladiator,” which won the Academy Award in 2000 for best picture and a best director nomination.  Inevitably the brothers were compared as directors with critics slamming Tony Scott’s movies for not having the substance that Ridley Scott’s movies had.

Both brothers ran Scott Free Productions and were both putting together a new film called “Killing Lincoln,” based on Bill O’Reilly’s best-selling book.   Their company was also noted for producing CBS shows such as “The Good Wife” and “NUMB3RS” along with a 2011 History Channel documentary on the Battle of Gettysburg.

Is Depression the Cause of Most Suicides?

The highest levels of suicide rates occur in people aged 65 or older, and Tony Scott was 68-years-old.  Depression is the reason people commit suicide and in this age group is usually untreated and not diagnosed. 

However, suicide threat knows no gender, age or income level.  Risk factors for people aged 65 or older include isolation or loneliness, physical illness, retirement, loss of purpose or loss of independence.

Signs of Suicide Plans

  • Increased prescription of alcohol use
  • Trouble sleeping or changing sleep patterns
  • Preoccupation with death/suicide by researching and reading about it
  • New interest in guns
  • Withdrawing socially or saying dramatic “goodbyes”
  • Marked decrease on taking care of oneself
  • Working on or revising a will

Though some people that commit suicide leave a note, we can never know the silent suffering a depressed person feels.  If you think someone is pondering taking their own life, get help for them.  Counseling and medication can do wonders.  Our hearts go out to the Scott family and Hollywood has lost a talented film director.

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