March 18, 2008 - Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella has died unexpectedly at the age of 54. The filmmaker's publicist said Minghella was operated on last week to remove a cancerous growth in his neck. Minghella appeared to be doing well following the surgery, however he suffered a fatal hemorrhage today and passed away at London's Charing Cross Hospital.
Minghella won the Best Director Oscar in 1997 for helming The English Patient. The English Patient was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, winning nine including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Juliette Binoche), and Best Cinematography. Minghella was also nominated for adapting the screenplay for The English Patient but lost to Billy Bob Thornton and Sling Blade. In 1999, Minghella picked up another Oscar nomination for adapting The Talented Mr Ripley from the novel by Patricia Highsmith.
Born on the Isle of Wight in 1954, it was the 1990 fantasy romance Truly, Madly, Deeply which launched Minghella's career. Other notable works include Cold Mountain starring Jude Law and Nicole Kidman and Breaking and Entering with Law, Binoche, and Robin Wright Penn.
Minghella recently completed work on The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency based on the book by Alexander McCall Smith. That movie will debut on British television this week. Minghella was scheduled to contribute a segment to the anthology film New York, I Love You.
Minghella is survived by his wife, actress/choreographer Carolyn Choa, and his children, Max and Hannah.