Demme's publicist, Annalee Paulo, said Demme died Wednesday morning in his New York apartment, surrounded by his wife, Joanna, and three children. Demme died from complications from esophageal cancer, she said.
Demme broke into moviemaking under the B-movie master Roger Corman in the early 1970s. His eclectic, prodigious body of films included 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs," for which he won the best director Oscar. Other credits include "Something Wild," ''Rachel Getting Married" and the Spalding Grey documentary "Swimming to Cambodia."
He last year released his latest concert film, "Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids."
IN MEMORIAM: Celebrities and notable figures who have recently passed away
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