- 31 Jul 20
His big screen adaptation of Roddy Doyle's book was another Jack Charlton moment for Ireland
The very sad news this afternoon is that veteran British filmmaker Alan Parker has passed away after a long illness, aged 76. A working class North London boy who originally worked in advertising, he made his international breakthrough in 1976 with Bugsy Malone, and proved that lightening can strike twice with 1978's Midnight Express.
The box-office smashes came in quick succession after that with Fame, Birdy, Angel Heart and Mississippi Burning all enhancing his reputation. Parker's Jack Charlton moment came in 1991 when he turned a bunch of Dublin unknowns into stars with The Commitments.
He went on to work in 1996 with Madonna on Evita, and renewed his Irish connections in 1999 with Angela's Ashes.
"I am very sad to learn that Alan Parker has left us," reflects one of the film's stars, Maria Doyle Kennedy."Apart from the many things he taught me, he introduced me to some lifelong friends for which I am so grateful. was mad about him, he was hilarious and very kind. All love to Lisa and his children."
"So very sad to share the news of the passing of my dear friend, Sir Alan Parker," says Matthew Modine who also worked with him. "Being cast in his epic film, Birdy, transformed my life. Alan was a great artist who’s films will live forever. Godspeed, Sir Alan."
"Very sad to hear the news of Alan Parker's death," says Andrew Lloyd-Webber. "My friend and collaborator on the Evita movie and one of the few directors to truly understand musicals on screen."
From "Fame" to "Midnight Express," two-time Oscar nominee Alan Parker was a chameleon. His work entertained us, connected us, and gave us such a strong sense of time and place. An extraordinary talent, he will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/OxZPBxTE8F
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) July 31, 2020
So sad to hear of Sir Alan Parker's passing. His incredible run of hits as a British filmmaker gave immense inspiration to me: Fame, Midnight Express, Birdy, Angel Heart & his beguiling debut Bugsy Malone (one I've parodied twice & want the last song to be played at my funeral.) pic.twitter.com/gg5xTuXTnL
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) July 31, 2020
RIP Alan Parker. Director of The Commitments, Angel Heart, Midnight Express and Pink Floyd - The Wall to name but a few. pic.twitter.com/H55qsMGxV7
— Light House Cinema (@LightHouseD7) July 31, 2020
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of BAFTA Fellow Alan Parker. As BAFTA-winning filmmaker, he brought us joy with Bugsy Malone, The Commitments, Midnight Express and many more. pic.twitter.com/fVOcXARgKM
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) July 31, 2020
I met Alan Parker in Dublin with @roisiningle one fine day. He spoke very candidly about directing Evita, and I told him then that Bugsy Malone is a work of genius. More importantly, however, you would be hardpressed to find a nicer person.
— Quentin Fottrell (@Quantanamo) July 31, 2020
RIP tkk ok a great filmmaker ⬇️
Variety: Alan Parker, Director of ‘Bugsy Malone,’ ‘Midnight Express,’ Dies at 76 https://t.co/MhFkwNLaBm”
— John Cusack (@johncusack) July 31, 2020