Alan Parker, director of Midnight Express dies at 76

Alan Parker, director of Midnight Express dies at 76

His career included films such as Fame, Evita and Bugsy Malone and Midnight Express - and his works won a total of 19 Baftas, 10 Golden Globes and 10 Oscars.

In 1974 he directed BBC film The Evacuees, winning a Bafta for direction - the first of seven awards he received from the British Academy.

Born on February 14, 1944 in Islington, North London, Parker began his career as an advertisement copywriter and commercial director.

He moved into television with critically acclaimed 1974 drama The Evacuees, which won an global Emmy Award. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best director for Parker.

Parker rose to prominence in the 1970s and made a splash with his first feature film, 1976 gangster musical "Bugsy Malone".

He followed that with 1978 feature Midnight Express, the reality-based story of an American's harrowing incarceration in a Turkish prison for alleged drug offences.

Parker ranged widely across subjects and genres.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, who collaborated with Parker on "Evita", said he was "one of the few directors to truly understand musicals on screen".

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He also directed Pink Floyd's cult musical The Wall in 1982, the United States racial injustices drama Mississippi Burning in 1988, and the cheerful 1991 musical comedy drama The Commitments, based on the eponymous novel by the Irish writer Roddy Doyle.

His final film was death-row drama The Life of David Gale in 2003.

Sir Alan received the CBE in 1995 and a knighthood in 2002.

A founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain, he was also chairman of the UK Film Council.

British actor Jonathan Pryce, from left, American actress-singer Madonna and Spanish actor Antonio Banderas appear at e news conference about the musical film Evita with British director Alan Parker in Buenos Aires in 1996. "An extraordinary talent, he will be greatly missed".

Tributes flooded in from across the movie industry, with fellow director David Puttnam saying: 'Alan was my oldest and closest friend, I was always in awe of his talent.

Parker is survived by his wife, his five children, and his seven grandchildren.

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