Paramedics found Hanson at his Hollywood Hills home at about
5 p.m. local time (0000 GMT). Hanson, who was pronounced dead at
the scene, died of natural causes, a police spokeswoman said.
He had retired in recent years due to Alzheimer’s, according to
Hanson, along with Brian Helgeland, won an Oscar in 1997 for
best writing for their adapted screenplay of the novel of the
same name by James Ellroy.
As a producer of the stylish 1997 period film, Hanson also
shared the nomination for best picture and was nominated for
best director. "L.A. Confidential" won an Oscar for actress Kim
Basinger and was nominated for its cinematography, art
direction, sound, editing and score.
The film reproduced ’50s Los Angeles, from the streets to the
costumes, and Hanson used an ensemble cast that also included
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, Danny
DeVito and David Strathairn.
"Curtis Hanson’s resplendently wicked 'L.A. Confidential' is a
tough, gorgeous, vastly entertaining throwback to the Hollywood
that did things right," The New York Times said.
The film was a popular success, grossing $126 million worldwide,
according to Variety.
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Hanson followed "L.A. Confidential" with the popular comedy "Wonder
Boys," adapted by Steve Kloves from the novel by Michael Chabon
about an English professor, played by Michael Douglas, who is under
pressure to finish his book amid a literary festival in Pittsburgh.
The director continued his winning streak with "8 Mile," which
starred Eminem and fictionalized to some extent the rapper’s
harrowing true-life story of seeking to break into the rap world in
his hometown of Detroit. Just how much of it represented true life
was greatly debated.
Hanson’s other films included "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle," "The
River Wild" and "In Her Shoes."
Hanson served as the first chairman of the UCLA Film and Television
Archive beginning in 1999 and as a member of the board of governors
of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences from 2001.
Hanson is survived by a son, born in 2004, with companion Rebecca
Yeldham, a producer, according to Variety.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Paul Tait and Michael
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