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Coroner says Tony Scott notes provided no suicide motive

Posted at 4:59 PM, Aug 26, 2012

(CNN) –A private memorial service was held Saturday for movie director Tony Scott, who committed suicide this week in California. 

Notes left behind by film director Tony Scott did not provide a motive for why he may have taken a suicidal plunge Sunday, a Los Angeles County coroner’s spokesman said Friday.

The notes also did not mention any illnesses, diseases or other health issues, Deputy Chief Coroner Ed Winter said. He would not provide additional details about what was written in the notes.

His death had led to reports that the British director suffered from inoperable brain cancer. His family has disputed such reports.

Scott, best known for the films “Top Gun” and “Beverly Hills Cop II,” apparently committed suicide by jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, California, about 12:30 p.m. Sunday, said Lt. Joe Bale of the coroner’s office.

Scott, 68, wrote two notes before his death, including a message left in his Los Angeles office that was apparently for family members, a coroner official said this week.

The second note, detailing contact information for authorities investigating his death, was found in his Toyota Prius parked nearby, the official said.

It will be weeks before the findings of a Monday autopsy are made public, the coroner’s office said Tuesday.

“Our examination is complete, and we will be working towards a comprehensive document once we close the case,” Winter said Tuesday.

An ABC report Monday suggested the director was scripting his own death after being told by a doctor that he was dying of inoperable brain cancer. The network did not name the source of its information.

“I did talk to the family … and according to his wife, he did not have brain cancer as reported, and (she) does not know who told ABC that information, which is absolutely false,” Winter said.

Scott’s unexplained death shocked the Hollywood stars who worked with him on a long list of successful movies over the past three decades. Denzel Washington, who starred in several Scott-directed thrillers — including 2010’s “Unstoppable” — said it was “unfathomable to think that he is now gone.”

“He had a tremendous passion for life and for the art of filmmaking and was able to share this passion with all of us through his cinematic brilliance,” he said.

Born Anthony D.L. Scott in North Shields, England, in 1944, the director got his start as a teenager in front of the camera, starring in his older brother Ridley Scott’s film “Boy and Bicycle.” In 1995, the two joined forces to create the production company Scott Free Productions.

Tony Scott became a household name in 1986 as director of the mega-hit “Top Gun,” starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. He followed that up with the Eddie Murphy action movie “Beverly Hills Cop II” in 1987.