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Curtis Hanson, whose L.A. Confidential earned him an Oscar and vaulted him to A-list status as a screenwriter and director, died Tuesday at 71.
Hanson also helmed such box-office hits as the Rebecca De Mornay horror thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) and the Eminem hip-hop drama 8 Mile (2002). He most recently directed the 2012 surfing movie Chasing Mavericks, but left the production because of an undisclosed illness.
A skilled technician and former magazine journalist who worked with Roger Corman and Sam Fuller early in his career, the versatile Hanson was proficient in a wide array of genres and styles.
He also has on his list of credits Losin’ It (1983), starring Tom Cruise; The River Wild (1994), starring Meryl Streep; Wonder Boys (2000), starring Michael Douglas; and In Her Shoes (2005), starring Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette.
Eminem, star of 8 Mile, said in a statement, “Curtis Hanson believed in me and our crazy idea to make a rap battle movie set in Detroit. He basically made me into an actor for 8 Mile. I’m lucky I got to know him.”
Danny DeVito, who starred in L.A. Confidential, told The Hollywood Reporter: “Crossed paths in an airport not too long ago. Embraced like long lost brothers. Gonna miss Curtis, a sweet gentle man, Peace.”
Colleagues and admirers, including Rob Lowe, Kevin Bacon, Dane Cook and Abigail Spencer took to Twitter to pay tribute to the late helmer. See some of the reactions below.
So sad to hear about Curtis Hanson. great director. great man. Riding that river with him was one of the greatest gigs of my life
— Kevin Bacon (@kevinbacon) September 21, 2016
It was an honor to make “Bad Influence” with Curtis Hanson. So smart, so kind and a great storyteller. I will miss him.
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) September 21, 2016
RIP Curtis Hanson you’re films are wonderful. I love L.A. Confidential.
— Dane Cook (@DaneCook) September 21, 2016
So honored I got to work with the dear #CurtisHanson — the most lovely & wonderful. Heartbroken. My condolences to his family. #rip
— Abigail Spencer (@abigailspencer) September 21, 2016
RIP Curtis Hanson. LA Confidential is one of the all time greats.
— steven pasquale (@StevePasquale) September 21, 2016
Fellow Corman alumnus & dedicated film buff Curtis Hanson has passed.
A terrific guy who made some terrific movies. https://t.co/1RoH5WdZXd
— Joe Dante (@joe_dante) September 21, 2016
Thank you Curtis Hanson for all that you’ve given us. You’ll be missed. pic.twitter.com/pOJJigZmso
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) September 21, 2016
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