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Dominic Minghella: I’m still living in agony 15 years on from brother’s death

Doc Martin creator said his brother Anthony, who directed The English Patient and The Talented Mr Ripley, ‘felt invincible’ before he died at 54.

Anthony Minghella dies
Anthony Minghella dies

The brother of Anthony Minghella said he is still living in “agony” 15 years on from the Oscar-winning director’s death.

The British filmmaker won best director for romantic war drama The English Patient, which starred Ralph Fiennes, and received three more nods from the Academy Awards.

Dominic Minghella, who is the creator of Doc Martin, the medical comedy which stars Martin Clunes, posted a Twitter thread on Saturday describing his sibling as “more than” a filmmaker on the anniversary of him dying on March 18 2008 at the age of 54.

While listing his brother’s work, he wrote: “Y’all might know him for this adaptation of Charles Frazier’s American Civil War epic (2003’s Cold Mountain starring Nicole Kidman).

“The list goes on. The uncredited script work. The improbable service at The Samaritans. The mentoring and the supporting and the encouraging. The delight in the success of others.

“But he was more than all of his extraordinary works. He was my brother, and I loved him. He was a walking embrace. His voice made you safe. His wisdom clarified every confusion. His generosity… Whatever “it” is, he had it.

“Everybody loved him. Everybody wanted a piece of him. And every time he gave a piece, he was not depleted – he grew. Those of us lucky enough to be close to him grew with him, rode happily on his ever-spreading coat-tails, felt invincible.

“And then, at about 11am on this day, fifteen years ago, the phone rang, and it stopped. It was agony then, and it’s agony now. If you knew him, I send you a virtual hug.

“And if you didn’t, but you know grief – if you’ve loved and lost – I send you the same hug. Don’t forget.”

Anthony was also chairman of the board of Governors at the British Film Institute.

He received Oscar nominations for writing (screenplay based on material previously produced or published) for The English Patient and The Talented Mr Ripley, which stars Matt Damon, Jude Law and Cate Blanchett, along with a posthumous nod for best picture for the romantic drama The Reader in which he again worked with Fiennes.

The director-producer was also honoured with four Bafta awards including for Truly, Madly, Deeply, a romantic comedy about Juliet Stevenson’s grief-stricken character seeing her partner played by Alan Rickman return as a ghost, in 1992 and the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for artistic excellence in directing in 2006.

He also became a CBE in 2001.

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