Tony Scott had inoperable brain cancer

UPDATE: Cancer rumor debunked.

Like a lot of people, one of my first thoughts when I read about Tony Scott’s suicide was whether he had some kind of terminal illness. Now ABC reports that “a source close to [Scott]” tells them that the Top Gun director had recently been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer.

Tony Scott, director of “Top Gun,” “Days of Thunder” and “Crimson Tide,” had inoperable brain cancer, a source close to him told ABC News.

The famed director died Sunday after jumping from a bridge in Los Angeles, authorities said. [ABC]

And… that’s pretty much all we know so far. People like to call suicide “the coward’s way out,” but getting diagnosed with brain cancer and immediately jumping off the tallest bridge you can find (“without hesitation”, according to police reports) sounds pretty damned manly to me. I’m not saying everyone who gets cancer should kill themselves in dramatic fashion, but Tony Scott jumping off the Vincent Thomas Bridge definitely sounds a lot more mature than whatever I would’ve probably done. I’m reminded of Patton Oswalt’s bit about obituaries:

In the obituaries, no one ever dies of cancer. People always give in after a valiant battle with cancer, or they throw in the towel after a courageous fight, which, statistically, can’t be possible. There had to have been a couple of cowardly ordeals in there.

“Bob Smith died today after a craven, cowardly ordeal with cancer, during which he wished the disease on his family and friends and attempted a pact with Satan which left his basement covered in goat’s blood and four boxes of chalk, needlessly wasted, trying to summon a demon who never appeared.”

I’m just saying, I imagine myself being a lot more like Bob Smith, so I give Tony Scott a lot of credit for remaining a cigar-chomping action movie director until his final moments. Hopefully the diagnosis wasn’t just a practical joke to get him to live life to its fullest or something. That would be bad.

[Picture source: NewsDaily]