Hudson Valley remembers "Silence of the Lambs" director

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The 1991 movie, based on Thomas Harris' novel, swept the Academy Awards the following year, winning Oscars for best picture and its two stars, Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, whose Hannibal Lecter character became a cultural icon.

Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning director of The Silence of the Lambs whose four-decade career spanned a staggering array of work from romantic comedy and rock music to hard-hitting documentaries, died on Wednesday.

The film maker won an Oscar for his involvement with Silence Of The Lambs, but to music fans Jonathan Demme will forever be associated with Stop Making Sense. He was pure energy, the unstoppable cheerleader for anyone creative.

Meryl Streep, who starred in Demme's most recent film Ricki and the Flash, said, "A big hearted, big tent, compassionate man - in full embrace in his life of people in need and of the potential of art, music, poetry and film to fill that need".

"She continued, "[He was] most beloved, something wild, brother of love, director of the lambs. "Love that guy, love him so much".

Our thoughts are with Jonathan's loved ones during this time.

Now Byrne has shared his memories of his late pal in a lengthy post on his website, recalling the close friendship they shared over the years after working together on his band Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense concert documentary in 1983. The 1993 film "Philadelphia", with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, was one of the first major Hollywood films to confront the AIDS crisis.

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Byrne said he was originally drawn to Demme for the way he'd "slip a reggae artist's song or a Haitian recording into a narrative film in ways that were often joyous and unexpected".

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS #2: (As character) You better work on that.

Meanwhile, Demme's Married to the Mob leading man Alec Baldwin mourned: "Rest In Peace, JD.", and Colin Hanks, who appeared alongside his dad Tom in the 1996 comedy That Thing You Do! which Demme produced, wrote: "Intelligent, talented, but above all, kind".

As we previously reported, Demme passed away from esophageal cancer. I will miss you so dearly, my sweet friend.

He had this huge grin on his face and all of us, you know, I myself included, but - and not just the actors that he worked with over and over again, but, you know, lots of crewmembers, you know, his prop master who's done a thousand films with him.

Jonathan's publicist told the Associated Press that he died in his NY apartment on Wednesday morning due to complications from oesophageal cancer.

But 2008's "Rachel Getting Married", starring Hathaway playing a young woman released from rehab for her sister's wedding, was a return to form that seemed to combine many of Demme's talents - his buoyant, natural humanism, his joy in music performance, his fondness for troubled outsiders. He leaves behind a wife, Joanne and three children, Ramona, Brooklyn and Jos. And I've nothing against that because I love (laughter) I love fictional movies, but the excitement of wading into, quote, unquote, "reality" and just finding out what happens.

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