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Anthony Minghella is dead at age 54. According to the AP, he was operated on for a growth on his neck a week ago, and even though the operation seemed to have gone well, at 5 a.m. this morning he suffered from a fatal hemorrhage and died.

The man was a giant as both a writer and director. His most noteworthy directorial efforts were Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and The English Patient, for which Minghella won Oscar’s Best Director. One thing that probably won’t be mentioned in a lot of the tributes being made to him today is his role in writing Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, but of his work it’s that which means the most to me. Ripley and English Patient are interesting, but The Storyteller is utterly unique, never to be duplicated, high art. Minghella co-wrote the series with now also tragically deceased Jim Henson.

Whatever you think of his work, maybe you’re even one of those weirdos who likes Cold Mountain, Minghella’s time on this Earth was too short. He leaves behind his wife, his son Max (an actor) and his daughter Hannah. He also leaves behind three movies. One of which, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, seems to have been mostly finished. The other two we may never see. New York, I Love You was in the midst of filming and Anthony never got a chance to start on The Ninth Life of Drax.

I’m sure the studios involved will update the status of his remaining projects in the days ahead. For now, take a moment to mourn the passing of a man who’s work meant something to millions.