Jonathan Demme, Director of “Philadelphia” Dead at 73

Academy Award inning director, Jonathan Demme died this morning of from complications due to heart disease and esophageal cancer.  He was 73.

Demme won his Best Director Oscar for 1991’s Silence of the Lambs, one of only three films to sweep all major categories, Actor, Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Director, and Picture.  But it was his next film, 1993’s Philadelphia that gave Jonathan Demme an eternal place in the LGBT Community’s heart.

In an article with Rolling Stone,

“The filmmaker told Rolling Stone he was inspired to create a film about AIDS after his friend Juan Botas became sick with the disease. “We looked for a story for a long time, and we decided it would be pointless to make a film for people with AIDS,” he said. “Or for their loved ones. They don’t need no movie about AIDS. They live the truth. We wanted to reach people who don’t know people with AIDS, who look down on people with AIDS.”

Philadelphia was fueled by three of the director’s staunchest convictions: that helping out people who are having a hard time is less a duty than a pleasure; that bigotry is more the result of ignorance than evil; and that for all the country’s political outrages, goodness is deep in the American grain.”

Read Rolling Stone’s 1994 article about Philadelphia with Jonathan Demme HERE

Bruce Springsteen’s Oscar winning Best Song, “Streets of Philadelphia”


Tom Hanks’ acceptance speech for Best Actor in Philadelphia.  (Still one of the best speeches ever)


(Main photo credit. Timothy Allen/eyevine/Redux)

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