Director Tony Scott attends the World Premiere of DEJA VU, held at the Ziegfeld Theater, Monday, November 20, 2006 in New York.
Director Tony Scott attends the World Premiere of DEJA VU, held at the Ziegfeld Theater, Monday, November 20, 2006 in New York. (The Associated Press)

British film director Tony Scott, known for such Hollywood blockbusters as "Top Gun," "Days of Thunder," "Beverly Hills Cop II" and "The Taking of Pelham 123," jumped to his death Sunday from the Vincent Thomas Bridge spanning San Pedro and Terminal Island, according to Los Angeles County coroner's officials.

Scott, 68, climbed a fence on the south side of the bridge's apex and leapt off "without hesitation" around 12:30 p.m., according to the Coroner's Department and port police.

A suicide note was found inside Scott's black Toyota Prius, which was parked on one of the eastbound lanes of the bridge, said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Jennifer Osburn.

Director Tony Scott, wife Donna and sons Max and Frank arrive at the premiere of the film "Man On Fire" at the Mann National Theater in Los
Director Tony Scott, wife Donna and sons Max and Frank arrive at the premiere of the film "Man On Fire" at the Mann National Theater in Los Angeles, on Sunday, April 18, 2004. (The Associated Press)

Scott directed Tom Cruise in "Top Gun," one of the highest-grossing films of 1986, and worked with the actor again four years later on the hit "Days of Thunder," which also featured his third and current wife, actress Donna Scott. The couple have twin boys.

Known for his trademark red baseball cap, Scott also directed "Beverly Hills Cop II," starring Eddie Murphy, "Enemy of the State," starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman, and "The Taking of Pelham 123," starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta.

Scott and his older brother, producer Ridley Scott, were co-producers on the CBS dramas "NUMB3RS" and "The Good Wife." The pair recently wrapped "Coma," a four-hour, two-night medical thriller starring Ellen Burstyn set for release next month on A&E.

Officers with port police, the Los Angeles Police Department and California Highway Patrol joined city firefighters and the Coast Guard in searching the water for his body.

Cargo vessels moved at slow speeds through the east side of the Main Channel during the search, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.

"It's a dolorous task and we're working to treat the deceased with the utmost dignity and respect," Humphrey said.

Authorities used sonar equipment to track the man in the port's murky waters and his body was recovered by a dive team around 4:30 p.m., Alva said. Scott's body was taken to a dock in Wilmington and turned over to the county coroner.

One lane of the eastbound side of the bridge was closed to traffic during the investigation.

Erected in 1963, the 6,060-foot bridge links San Pedro with Terminal Island and rises 185 feet at its highest point above the Main Channel of Los Angeles Harbor. Many have taken their lives by jumping from the span.

art.marroquin@dailybreeze.com

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