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'Silence of the Lambs' director Jonathan Demme dies at 73

Director Jonathan Demme attends Tribeca Talks After The Movie: By Sidney Lumet during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theatre on April 22, 2016 in New York City.
Director Jonathan Demme attends Tribeca Talks After The Movie: By Sidney Lumet during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theatre on April 22, 2016 in New York City. (Getty Images)

NEW YORK – Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning director of "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Philadelphia," and whose Talking Heads documentary "Stop Making Sense" is considered one of the greatest concert films ever, has died. He was 73.

Demme's publicist, Annalee Paulo, said Demme died Wednesday morning in his New York apartment, surrounded by his wife, Joanna, and three children. Demme died from complications from esophageal cancer, she said.

Demme broke into moviemaking under the B-movie master Roger Corman in the early 1970s. His eclectic, prodigious body of films included 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs," for which he won the best director Oscar. Other credits include "Something Wild," "Rachel Getting Married" and the Spalding Grey documentary "Swimming to Cambodia."

He last year released his latest concert film, "Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids."

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