Sad news has arrived from the British Film Institute that Alan Parker, director of iconic films like Midnight Express, Evita and Bugsy Malone, has succumbed to a long-term illness and died in London at the age of 76.
Over the course of thirty years, Parker had assembled an astounding filmography that began in earnest after a few shorts and a TV movie with the feature film, Bugsy Malone, in 1976, a gangster musical with a cast literally made up of children. Parker’s 1978 follow-up, Midnight Express, based on Billy Hayes’ non-fiction book, changed the way people looked at drug smuggling and their horrifying repercussions. His 1980 musical, Fame, was equally iconic, as was his 1982 partially-animated Pink Floyd: The Wall, adapting the British rock group’s iconic 1979 album with Bob Geldof in the lead role. Other memorable films include Birdy in 1986, Angel Heart in 1987 and Mississippi Burning in 1988. Parker’s affiliation with the movie musical genre continued in 1991 with The Commitments (starring future Once star, Glen Hansard) and 1996’s Evita, starring Madonna.
Parker’s final film was 2003’s The Life of David Gale, starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet, which sadly, wasn’t received particularly well compared to some of Parker’s earlier films.
Parker leaves behind his wife, producer Lisa Moran, and five children, including screenwriter Nathan Parker.
You can read more about Parker’s amazing life and career at Variety.