Curtis Hanson, the Oscar winning writer and director of LA Confidential, has died aged 71. Hanson died of natural causes at his home in the Hollywood Hills home , He had retired in recent years due to Alzheimer’s.
he made a number acclaimed films such as Wonder Boys and 8 Mile, it was his bravura adaptation of Jame Ellroy’s noir novel that located Hanson on the Hollywood A-list.
He began screenwriting and directing in the early 1970s, but didn’t see serious success until directing the 1992 psychological thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. The film starring Rebecca De Mornay as a revenge-seeking nanny became a major hit.
Hanson went on to direct 1994’s The River Wild with Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon but his biggest success came three years later with LA Confidential, which featured Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe and Kevin Spacey alongside Oscar-winning Kim Basinger in the complex tale of police corruption.
Hanson, who won an Oscar for the screenplay with Brian Helgeland but was denied best director and producer by the huge success of Titanic at the 1998 Academy Awards, said in an interview in 2001 that he had always wanted to tell a story that was set in Los Angeles in the 50s “because that’s where I grew up”.