Anthony Minghella dies, aged 54

Anthony Minghella has died, aged 54, according to his agent Judy Daish.

Perhaps best known for his literary adaptations, Minghella's biggest hits included The English Patient - winner of nine Academy Awards, including Best Director - and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

He was a key player in the British film industry, as well as being a champion of world cinema; once stating that he wanted to change the name of the BFI - of which he was chairman - to the International Film Institute.

John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council, said: “Anthony was at home in many art forms but ultimately he was one of the great British filmmakers of his generation.

He sweated over every frame of every film, but his influence went beyond the films and he was a top ambassador for the industry both in the UK and internationally.

As Chairman he laid the foundations for the renaissance of the BFI and he was a brilliant member of the UK Film Council board for five years. Even more importantly he was 100% genuine and he believed in the goodness of others.”

His final project, a 90-minute pilot for a TV series based on the bestselling book The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, is due to be screened this Easter.

For more details go to the BBC. Currently, the cause of death is unknown.