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Bridge jump of 'best director' saddens Hollywood

A well-known Christian movie critic and author of several books said he was saddened by the death of producer Tony Scott, noting his apparent suicide is an example of the tragic end of an individual with no spiritual faith.

Tony Scott, the producer of action films such as “Top Gun,” surprised the Hollywood community by apparently committing suicide by jumping off of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles County.

Scott also worked with Denzel Washington on several films, including “Crimson Tide” with Gene Hackman, “Man on Fire,” “The Taking of Pelham 123” and most recently “Unstoppable.” Scott was reportedly working on a sequel to “Top Gun” with Tom Cruise.

Scott is the brother of Ridley Scott, who produced and directed films such as “Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Prometheus.”

The Associated Press said the coroner’s office had found several notes to loved ones in Scott’s car and confirmed the discovery of a suicide note in Scott’s office.

While it is unclear what drove him to suicide, a source told ABC News that Scott was recently diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, leading some to speculate the diagnosis may have prompted him to commit suicide. However, Deadline.com is reporting that Scott’s widow says the director did not have brain cancer.

Ted Baehr, founder of Movieguide and a WND commentator, said Scott’s death is a tragic example of what happens when a person doesn’t have faith.

“It was a shock to me and saddened me to hear the news. It’s very sad. Everybody needs Jesus, and without him we are nothing,” Baehr said. “My wife has been taking chemotherapy for 18 years. Only Jesus can get you through the pain and suffering. The answer is not suicide; it is having the faith that can get you through.

“He did some movies that were winners in the Movieguide award category. Some of his movies were absolutely terrific compared to some of the films by his brother.”

Jesse Corti, a Christian actor with numerous film and television appearances who starred in “Revenge,” a film directed by Scott, with Kevin Costner and Anthony Quinn, said the reports of Scott’s brain cancer came as a shock to him.

“I knew nothing about that, and I don’t think anybody else did either,” he said.

“He had a wonderful disposition, and he was always clowning around. He was always happy,” Corti said. “He was one of the best directors I had the privilege of working with. He really took care of the actors, and he was 100 percent there all of the time.

“I have a picture where he gave me a big kiss on the cheek and said, ‘You remind me of a young Marlon Brando.’ He was never upset and was always calm and collected.”

In spite of Scott’s demeanor, Corti said there was no evidence that he had any type of spiritual faith but said that Scott had opportunities to hear the gospel during his career.

Baehr concurred with Corti’s comments, saying he has noted that he saw no evidence of spiritual faith by Scott. He noted the contrast between Scott and Michael Lloyd, a leader in the music industry and producer of multiple platinum records.

“Lloyd was diagnosed with cancer and was led to Christ in his hospital room by a two-time Academy Award winner. Everybody who encounters Christ has a transformation, and those who do not trust Christ become despondent,” he said. “If you have faith you know you are going to a better world and that things are going to get better.”

Scott is one of many famous individuals who discovered that faith and fame do not bring happiness.

Heath Ledger, who starred in Mel Gibson’s “The Patriot” and played the Joker in “The Dark Knight,” died from a drug overdose of prescription medication. Ledger had been suffering stress from a heavy workload and a recent breakup with actress Michelle Williams.

Baehr pointed to Howard Hughes as another example.

“Here was a famous individual who was one of the richest men in America, yet at the end of his life he refused to cut his nails and hair and died a recluse.”

In his last years, Hughes stored his bodily waste in glass jars, and he had a fear of germs. Following his death, authorities had to resort to fingerprints to identify the body.