Alan Parker, nominated for an Oscar for Best Director for the 1978 film “Midnight Express” and again 10 years later for “Mississippi Burning”, died in south London on Friday. He was 76 years old.
His death follows a long illness, a spokeswoman for the British Film Institute said.
Mr. Parker has directed a number of other renowned films, working across a range of styles and genres. “Fame” (1980) was a musical about a high school performing arts in New York City. “Birdy” (1984) was based on a novel by William Wharton about a boy who had an erotic fascination with avian life. “Angel Heart” (1987) was a sexy black who flirted with an X rating but ended up with an R. “Angela’s Ashes” (1999) was a film version of Frank McCourt’s popular autobiography.
Music is the basis of some of his best-known works. His first feature film was the gangster satire “Bugsy Malone” in 1976, in which teenagers played the gangsters, and songs by Paul Williams punctuated the action. Two years after “Fame”, he directed “Pink Floyd: The Wall”, a story full of images about a British rock star written by Roger Waters of the group Pink Floyd. In 1991 came “The Commitments” (1991), a joyous tale about a group in Dublin. In 1996, he directed the film version of the musical “Evita”, with Madonna in the role of Eva Perón.
Madonna, he told the Mirror in 1996, wasn’t the easiest person to work with, but he found a way to make the most of her.
“My secret was to let her moan to my assistants to get it out of her system so that by the time she was in front of the camera, she was completely complaining,” he said.
The performance earned him a Golden Globe.
Alan William Parker was born on February 14, 1944 in the Islington district of London.
Mr. Parker is survived by his second wife, Lisa Moran-Parke; five children; and seven grandchildren. He was previously married to Annie Inglis, the mother of four of his children.
A full version of this obituary will be published shortly.
Alex Marshall contributed reporting.