Di­rected ‘Fame,’ ‘Mis­sis­sippi Burn­ing,’ ‘Evita’

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION / WORLD - BY JILL LAWLESS

LON­DON — Film­maker Alan Parker, one of Britain’s most suc­cess­ful di­rec­tors whose movies in­cluded “Bugsy Malone,” “Mid­night Ex­press” and “Evita,” has died at 76, his fam­ily said.

Mr. Parker’s di­verse body of work in­cludes “Fame,” Mis­sis­sippi Burn­ing, “The Com­mit­ments” and “An­gela’s Ashes.” To­gether his movies won 10 Academy Awards and 19 Bri­tish Academy Film Awards.

In a state­ment, the fam­ily said Mr. Parker died Fri­day in Lon­don af­ter a long ill­ness.

Mr. Parker was born in Lon­don in 1944 and, like many other as­pir­ing Bri­tish di­rec­tors in­clud­ing Ri­d­ley Scott, be­gan his ca­reer in ad­ver­tis­ing.

He moved into tele­vi­sion with the crit­i­cally ac­claimed 1974 drama “The Evac­uees,” which won an in­ter­na­tional Emmy Award

The next year he wrote and di­rected his first fea­ture, “Bugsy Malone,” an un­usual and ex­u­ber­ant mu­si­cal pas­tiche of gang­ster films with a cast of chil­dren, in­clud­ing a young Jodie Foster.

He fol­lowed that with “Mid­night Ex­press,” the story based on an Amer­i­can’s har­row­ing incarcerat­ion in a Turk­ish prison. It won two Os­cars and gained Mr. Parker a best­di­rec­tor nom­i­na­tion.

Mr. Parker ranged widely across sub­jects and gen­res. “Shoot the Moon” was a fam­ily drama, “An­gel Heart” an oc­cult thriller and “Mis­sis­sippi Burn­ing” a pow­er­ful civil rights drama that was nom­i­nated for seven Academy Awards.

Mr. Parker was a no­table di­rec­tor of mu­si­cals. “Fame” was a gritty but cel­e­bra­tory story of life at a per­form­ing arts high school; “Pink Floyd — the Wall” was a sur­real rock opera; and “Evita” cast Madonna as Ar­gen­tine first lady Eva Peron in a big-screen ver­sion of An­drew Lloyd Web­ber’s mu­si­cal.

Alan Parker

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