Madonna tribute to Sir Alan Parker: He taught me so much

Madonna has spoken of her sadness following the death of filmmaker Sir Alan Parker, saying “he taught me so much”.

The British director, known for films including Bugsy Malone, Fame, Midnight Express and Mississippi Burning, died at the age of 76 on Friday.

Madonna starred in Sir Alan’s 1996 musical drama Evita.

She posted on Twitter: “I was so sad to hear about the passing of Alan Parker.

“One of the greatest directors I’ve ever worked with, on the film Evita.

“He taught me so much, believed in me, pushed me to my limits and made an incredible film! Thank you! ”

Sir Alan, whose films won 19 Baftas, 10 Golden Globes and 10 Oscars, died following a lengthy illness.

Actor Ben Stiller was also among those paying tribute, saying Sir Alan made “real” movies.

“So sad to hear of Alan Parker’s passing. What a great director who made what I consider ‘real’ movies. He inspired so many filmmakers: Fame, Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning… Watch his films – they are some of the best of the 70s and 80s,” Stiller said.

Singer Peter Gabriel worked with Sir Alan on 1984 drama Birdy, creating the film’s score. The former Genesis singer said the late director had a “serious impact” on his life.

He said: “There’s a lot of wonderful work he has left us. He also had a serious impact on my own life as he was the first film director to think I might be able to create a film score.

“He was so encouraging, passionate and dedicated to saying something real with his films, and all delivered with his gentle and timely sense of humour. I only ever heard great things from all those he worked with.

“Thank you for so many good memories, Alan. That’s a wrap.”

Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who wrote the musical Evita, described Sir Alan as “one of the few directors to truly understand musicals on screen”.

Actor Matthew Modine starred in Birdy and said being cast in the film “transformed my life”.

He added that Sir Alan “was a great artist” whose “films will live forever”.

Antonio Banderas starred in Evita and described Sir Alan as a “great director”.

He tweeted: “Dear Alan, goodbye. Thank you for having me in Evita and thank you for your cinematography wisdom. Here we have all you’ve done, that it is much and good.”

Elijah Wood, best known for The Lord Of The Rings films, praised the depth of Sir Alan’s back catalogue.

He said: “The Wall, Angel Heart, The Commitments and Mississippi Burning representing just a bit of his extraordinary and diverse filmography. Such a legend.”

Actor Alec Baldwin, director Edgar Wright and James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli were also among those paying tribute, while both Bafta and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science shared praise for Sir Alan.

Sir Alan was born in Islington, London, on February 14, 1944, and began his career in advertising as a copywriter.

He wrote and directed his first feature film, Bugsy Malone, in 1975 – a musical pastiche of Hollywood gangster films of the 1930s with a cast of children.

His second film, 1977’s Midnight Express, won two Oscars, six Golden Globes and four Baftas.

In 1981, he directed Pink Floyd – The Wall, the feature film adaptation of the band’s successful rock album, which became a cult classic among music fans.

Sir Alan received the Bafta Academy Fellowship Award, the body’s highest honour, in 2013.

He is survived by his wife Lisa Moran-Parker, his children Lucy, Alexander, Jake, Nathan and Henry, and seven grandchildren.