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Filmmaker George Hickenlooper Dead At 47

by The Playlist
October 30, 2010 9:48 AM
5 Comments
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American filmmaker George Hickenlooper, known for directing "Factory Girl," the documentary, "Mayor of the Sunset Strip," and co-directing "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse" with Fax Bahr, among many other pictures, was found dead this morning according to the Denver Post.

The 47-year old filmmaker, a cousin of Denver mayor John Hickenlooper who confirmed his passing, was in the city preparing to unveil his his latest film, "Casino Jack" starring Kevin Spacey, at the Starz Denver Film Festival. The director evidently died of natural causes in his sleep according to the report and comments on his Facebook page.

His last Facebook message reads, "Thanks to all my new friends in Austin for making last night's screening such a great success! I love Austin! One of if not the best audience in the world. Literally. Hope to come back soon... On to Denver!"

“Shock and sadness do not begin to describe our emotions. We are devastated,” John Hickenlooper said in a statement. “George had immense creative talents and cinematic gifts, but he was so much more than that to us and all his family. His passion for life, zeal for people and unquenchable curiosity enriched everyone who had the fortune to know him. We will miss his sense of humor, his warm character and the avid encouragement he gave anyone around him. Our hearts go out to his wife, Suzanne, and his son, Charles.”

His latest film is about the career of Washington, D.C. lobbyist, businessman, and con man Jack Abramoff, who was involved in a massive corruption scandal that led conviction charges of fraud, conspiracy, and tax evasion in 2006. "He's so larger than life. For me, that whole Bush era, that whole Republican revolution, how it went off the rails completely, is very interesting," the filmmaker said in an interview with L.A. Guest in February of this year. "His story was a way for me to ventilate my frustration of all the bullshit I'd bought into over the last ten years. It was very cathartic."

More info when it becomes available, but the Denver Post reports that foul play is not suspected and the cause of death is currently being investigated.

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5 Comments

  • Liza | November 1, 2010 4:56 AMReply

    The good die young... unfortunately proven to be true time and time again. Condolences to his wonderful family xoxo

  • HUNTER TODD | November 1, 2010 4:24 AMReply

    What a great surprise and tremendous loss! George was a dear old friend and had won many top awards at WorldFest over his brilliant and all to short career. He lived life fully, we enjoyed many a great dinner with far too much fine wine. WorldFest will miss him as will the film world, he died far, far too young... and I shall miss all the wonderful films that he was going to make. He has gone on to the great screening room in the sky... God Speed, dear George... we had hoped to see him for our upcoming 44th Annual WorldFest-Houston, in April 2011 -

    Goodbye, dear George... it was a great ride... Hunter Todd, Chairman, the 44th Annual WorldFest-Houston www.worldfest.org

  • TM | October 31, 2010 1:05 AMReply

    Rest in peace - you were taken away too soon. My condolences to your family and friends.

  • Don Franken | October 30, 2010 11:42 AMReply

    This is so sad and a huge loss to the world of filmmakers. He is fondly remembered by all at The Method Fest. He was one of the country's most prolific and talented filmmakers.

  • Michael | October 30, 2010 11:20 AMReply

    This is a complete shock. What a shame. He was a major talent and was on his way to even wider renown. My condolences to his family and friends.

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