Jodie Foster

Jonathan Demme, Oscar-winning director of 'The Silence of the Lambs,' dies at 73

Jonathan Demme, Oscar-winning director of 'The Silence of the Lambs,' dies at 73

Presented with Thomas Harris’ bestselling novel “The Silence of the Lambs,” most Hollywood directors would have been primarily enticed by the lurid appeal of its serial killers, Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter and “Buffalo Bill.” But for Jonathan Demme, who directed the hit 1991 film adaptation, it was the quietly flinty heroine, FBI agent Clarice Starling, who most drew him to the tale.

“I’m pulling for women,” Demme told The Times in 1991 in the run-up to the film’s release. “I’ve got enough estrogen in me to identify with women. I don’t have any difficulty with that.”

Then again, Demme, who died Wednesday at age 73, never came at anything from the obvious or predictable...

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