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Motorist David Silva told the Los Angeles Times that Scott appeared to hesitate before climbing a fence that lines the bridge, and again before leaping off. He said fellow motorists at first thought the director was performing an extreme sports stunt, but quickly realized he didn’t have a parachute or other safety equipment.

The brothers frequently collaborated on movies and their company also produced the successful TV series “Numb3rs” and “The Good Wife.” CBS, which aired both shows, said “one of the brightest lights in the industry has gone out.”

Scott, who was born in Great Britain and lived in Beverly Hills, is survived by a wife, actress Donna Scott, who appeared in several of her husband’s films, and twin sons. He had been planning a sequel “Top Gun,” the movie that helped propel him to other big-budget films.

Scott often said he got his greatest thrills from filmmaking.

“The biggest edge I live on is directing. That’s the most scary, dangerous thing you can do in your life,” Scott said in an interview for his 1995 naval adventure “Crimson Tide.” “The scariest thing in my life is the first morning of production on all my movies. It’s the fear of failing, the loss of face and a sense of guilt that everybody puts their faith in you and not coming through.”

He was the first of the Scott brothers to enjoy blockbuster success with “Top Gun,” starring Cruise, the top-grossing film of 1986 at $176 million. Scott teamed with Cruise again four years later on the hit “Days of Thunder.”

Ridley Scott later surpassed his younger brother’s career in terms of hits and accolades, earning an Oscar for “Gladiator” and three best director nominations. Tony Scott never was in the running for an Oscar, and critics often slammed his movies for emphasizing style over substance.

He said he gained perspective by mixing things up between film, TV and commercials. “I like changing the pace of my life, changing my discipline. It gives me ideas for how to see the world differently,” Scott said in a 2007 interview.

His work impacted a generation of actors and filmmakers, who praised him after learning of death Sunday night.

“Shocking and devastating news,” Christian Slater, who was directed by Scott in the 1993 film “True Romance,” wrote on Twitter. “He was the best and will be greatly missed.”

Gene Hackman, who worked with Scott on “Crimson Tide” and “Enemy of the State,” said the director “was always sensitive to the needs of an actor. We’ve lost a wonderful, creative talent.”

Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez also wrote on Twitter, “Thanks for the inspiration, advice, encouragement, and the decades of great entertainment.”

Justin Timberlake wrote on the site, “His movies made growing up more fun for me.”


Anthony McCartney can be reached at AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen and AP Movie Writer David Germain contributed to this report.