Untimely death has robbed us of a truly prodigious talent

IT was with a sense of disbelief and dismay that Ham&High readers learned on Tuesday of the death of film director Anthony Minghella, one of the finest purveyors of his craft, and a real gentleman to boot. One can only imagine the sorrow felt by his clos

IT was with a sense of disbelief and dismay that Ham&High readers learned on Tuesday of the death of film director Anthony Minghella, one of the finest purveyors of his craft, and a real gentleman to boot.

One can only imagine the sorrow felt by his closest friends and family at his untimely passing. Hopefully it will come as some small comfort to them to see their sadness shared by so many people around the world.

The vast majority of these people never knew the man, but greatly appreciated his art and he leaves behind him a rich legacy of work that can and will be enjoyed by millions for years to come.

Often celebrities in the flamboyant worlds of stage and screen are described as 'much-loved', often without due cause. Here was a man who reached the pinnacle of achievement in more than one artistic field, yet never lost the gentle, endearing side of his character that shone through in all situations and won him the enduring respect and friendship of so many of his peers.


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Mr Minghella was no eccentric, reclusive, compulsive director, in the time-honoured fashion, but rather a warm-hearted, generous and charming man who did not need to rant and rave to get the very best out of the talented but often fragile people around him. And he would appear as much at home mixing with the general public at the Everyman or the Screen on the Hill as he did when joining the gliteratti of the film world to receive his Oscars or wining and dining with millionaires to gently but persuasively extract the cash he needed to fund his latest epic production.

After a comparatively lowly beginning as a television scriptwriter he had been producing internationally-acclaimed works for more than two decades - and there was no reason not to believe that he would be doing so for another 20 years at least.

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His passing so suddenly at the age of 54, when all the signs pointed towards a full recovery from a recent operation, was a devastating blow to the British and world film industry, and most especially to those who knew him well in either a professional or personal capacity.

For his friends and family, especially his choreographer wife Carolyn Choa and his two children, this is truly the saddest of times. Our sympathy, and that of everyone who recognised and appreciated this prodigious and unique talent, goes out to them.

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