The Journal Gazette
 
 
Saturday, August 01, 2020 1:00 am

Alan Parker, 'Midnight Express' director, 76, dies

Associated Press

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

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.

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

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

He moved into television with critically acclaimed 1974 drama “The Evacuees,” which won an international Emmy Award

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

Parker was a notable director of musicals. “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 Argentine first lady Eva Peron.


Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter

Top headlines are sent daily