Sir Alan Parker, the acclaimed British director of such films as Fame, Evita and Bugsy Malone, has died aged 76.

His many other credits include Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning, The Commitments, Angela’s Ashes and Birdy.

A founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain, he was also chairman of the UK Film Council.

He died on Friday after a lengthy illness and is survived by his wife Lisa Moran-Parker, five children and seven grandchildren.

Sir Alan received the CBE in 1995 and a knighthood in 2002.

Born in London in 1944, he began his career in advertising as a copywriter but quickly graduated to writing and directing commercials.

In 1974 he directed BBC film The Evacuees, winning a Bafta for direction – the first of seven awards he received from the British Academy.

In 1984 Bafta honoured him with the prestigious Michael Balcon Award for outstanding contribution to British cinema.

Yet he was never honoured at the Oscars, despite being nominated twice for best director.

Film director David Puttnam remembered Parker as his “oldest and closest friend,” adding: “I was always in awe of his talent.

“My life and those of many others who loved and respected him will never be the same again.”

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