"I can confirm that Jonathan passed away early this morning in his Manhattan apartment, surrounded by his wife, Joanne Howard, and three children," his publicist said in a brief statement. "He died from complications from esophageal cancer and is survived by his children Ramona, age 29, and her husband James Molloy, Brooklyn, age 26, and Jos, age 21," he added.
His death led to an immediate outpouring of grief from fans, friends and former colleagues. "Deeply saddened by the passing of the most brilliant man - director, father, friend, activist," wrote British actress Thandie Newton on Twitter. "Devastating to let him go. I love you," she added.
Deeply saddened by the passing of the most brilliant man - director, father, friend, activist. Devastating to let him go. I love you JD xT pic.twitter.com/aMFyHIIvCz? Thandie Newton (@thandienewton) April 26, 2017
Jonathan Demme will be laid to rest at a private family funeral. In place of flowers, the family has requested donations to be made to a Florida-based charity that works to protect immigrants, Americans For Immigrant Justice.
Jonathan Demme has also directed films like Something Wild, Married To The Mob, Swimming To Cambodia and Handle With Care.