Anthony Minghella


LONDON (AP) - Oscar winning director Anthony Minghella, who turned such literary works as "The English Patient," "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Cold Mountain" into acclaimed movies, has died. He was 54.

Minghella's death was confirmed Tuesday by his agent, Judy Daish. No other details were not immediately available.

"The English Patient," the 1996 World War II drama, won nine Academy Awards, including best director for Minghella, best picture and best supporting actress for Juliette Binoche.

Based on the celebrated novel by Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje, the movie tells of a burn victim's tortured recollections of his misdeeds in time of war. Minghella also was nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay for "English Patient," and for his screenplay for "The Talented Mr. Ripley."

Among his other acclaimed films were "Truly, Madly, Deeply" (1990), and last year's Oscar-nominated "Michael Clayton," on which he was executive producer.

Minghella was recently in Botswana filming an adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith's novel "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency." It is due to air on British television this week.

The book is the first in a series about the adventures of Botswanan private eye Precious Ramotswe; a 13-part television series was recently commission by U.S. network HBO.

Minghella also turned his talents to opera. In 2005, he directed a highly successful staging of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" at the English National Opera in London. The following year, he staged it for the season opener of New York's Metropolitan Opera. It was the first performance at the Met under general manager Peter Gelb.

Jeff Ramsay, press secretary to Botswanan President Festus Mogae, said Minghella's death was a "shock and an utter loss."

He said the director had been coming to the country ahead of the detective film and learning about Botswana.

Ramsay said Minghella had told him how he had been forced to shoot "Cold Mountain" - set in the United States - in Romania and that it had "seemed wrong." He said this made the director "more sure that the film could only be shot in Botswana."

Born the second of five children to southern Italian emigrants, Minghella came to moviemaking from a flourishing playwriting career on the London "fringe" and, in 1986, on the West End with the play, "Made in Bangkok," a hard-hitting look at the sexual mores of a British tour group in Thailand.

He worked as a television script editor before making his directing debut with "Truly, Madly, Deeply," a comedy about love and grief starring Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman.
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press

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May the family fines comfort and strength during this difficult time. My sincere condolences.

Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.

For Anthony...

You made some of the
most memorable films
of our time.


Do not weep for me when I no longer dwell among the wonders of the earth; for my larger self is free, and my soul rejoices on the other side of pain...on the other side of darkness.

Do not weep for me, for I am a ray of sunshine that touches your skin, a tropical breeze upon your face, the hush of joy within your heart and the innocence of babes in...

Following the BAFTA award ceremony, I would like to express my sadness at the loss of such a talented man. I love his films.

I sorry to hear about your lost and I would like to share with the family a comforting scripture at John11:25" Jesus said I am the resurrctionand the life he that exercises faith in me, even though he dies will come to life.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.

To All The Family Members of Mr. Anthony Minghella, Our Deepest Sympathies.
Anthony Minghella was a Great Inspiration with the Gift of Great Talent and Contribution To The Arts.
Truly Un Grande Dono.

Anthony touched a lot of hearts when he was here directing the No 1 Ladies Detective in Botswana. Such a humble sweet human being, So nice and accomodative and very talented and a true gentleman... it is with great sadness that i write to say, may he rest in peace and may Carolyn and their children receive our deepest sympathy. he will forever be in our hearts, those of us who worked with him for a very short time, feel he left a very huge mark in our lives.