Curtis Hanson, who won a screenwriting Oscar for LA Confidential and directed the psychological thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and Eminem's tale of Detroit hip-hop 8 Mile, has died. He was 71. Paramedics declared Hanson dead at his Hollywood Hills home late Tuesday afternoon, Los Angeles police spokesman Tony Im tells the AP. Hanson died of natural causes, Im says. Eminem was among many who paid tribute to him after his death. "Curtis Hanson believed in me and our crazy idea to make a rap battle movie set in Detroit," Eminem said in a statement. "He basically made me into an actor for 8 Mile. I'm lucky I got to know him."
A native of Reno, Nevada, who grew up in Los Angeles, Hanson dropped out of high school to work as a photographer, writer, and editor for the magazine Cinema. He began screenwriting and directing in the early 1970s, but didn't see serious success until directing 1992's The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. He went on to direct 1994's The River Wild and his breakthrough as an acclaimed filmmaker came with 1997's LA Confidential, which he co-wrote and directed. He most recently directed the 2011 HBO movie on the financial crisis, Too Big To Fail, and the 2012 Gerard Butler surfing movie, Chasing Mavericks. (Read more obituary stories.)