The British director Alan Parker, whose films have won 10 Oscars and 10 Golden Globes, also explored US race relations with "Mississippi Burning."

Alan Parker celebrates after receiving the Fellowship award at the British Academy of Film and Arts (BAFTA) awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London, February 10, 2013. (File photo)
Alan Parker celebrates after receiving the Fellowship award at the British Academy of Film and Arts (BAFTA) awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London, February 10, 2013. (File photo) (Reuters)

Filmmaker Alan Parker, one of Britain's most successful directors whose movies included “Bugsy Malone,” “Midnight Express” and “Evita,” has died at 76.

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.

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In a statement, his family said Parker died on Friday in London after a long illness.

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

He moved on to TV with critically acclaimed 1974 drama “The Evacuees,” which won an international Emmy Award. 

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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 incarceration in a Turkish prison. It won two Oscars and gained Parker a best-director nomination.

In 2004 Hollywood writer and director Oliver Stone, the screenwriter for the film, apologised for offending Turkey and admitted to over-dramatising the screenplay.

Parker's work 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.

Parker was a notable director of musicals, a genre he both embraced and expanded. “Fame” was a gritty but celebratory story of life at a performing arts high school; “Pink Floyd — the Wall” was a surreal rock opera; “The Commitments” charted a ramshackle Dublin soul band; and “Evita” cast Madonna as Argentinian first lady Eva Peron in a big-screen version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical.

Parker also championed Britain’s film industry, serving as the chairman of the British Film Institute and the UK Film Council. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.

He is survived by his wife Lisa Moran-Parker, his children Lucy, Alexander, Jake, Nathan and Henry, and seven grandchildren.

British film industry mourns 

Fellow director David Puttnam said Parker “was my oldest and closest friend – I was always in awe of his talent. My life, and those of many others who loved and respected him will never be the same again.”

The British Film Institute, BAFTA, The Academy, and those who worked alongside Parker during his career, among others,  have expressed their sentiments on Twitter following  the filmmaker's passing. 

Source: AP