Stars from the world of entertainment are mourning the death of Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme. The filmmaker behind horror thriller The Silence Of The Lambs passed away from oesophageal cancer and complications from heart disease, his publicist confirmed on Wednesday (26 April). He was 73 years old.

Besides making one of the most iconic films of all time – starring Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal the cannibal – Demme's film credits include Philadelphia, Ricki and the Flash and Beloved.

Anna Hathaway led the tributes on social media, tweeting: "I'm crying. RIP Jonathan Demme". She continued her online outpouring with a snap of the pair together along with the caption: "He (Jonathan Demme) is my artistic compass" – Anne Hathaway"

The 34-year-old starlet, who starred in his 2008 movie Rachel Getting Married, vowed to watch the family drama tonight "in his honour".

PBS host Tavis Smiley also expressed his grief over the loss fo his close friend writing: "This loss hurts deep With my abiding friend and brother beloved @jonathandemme at #StandingRock. Not a kinder soul has ever lived. RIP, JD" alongside a [picture collage of the pair together.

Paying tribute, True Blood star Stephen Moyers described him as a "soulful" man. He tweeted:"So sad to hear of the death of #JonathanDemme. Had the enormous pleasure of working with him this time last year. A wonderful soulful man."

Moonlight Director Barry Jenkins said: "My man Demme was the kindest, most generous. A MASSIVE soul, He lived in love. And rests in peace."

Jonathan Demme
Anne Hathaway and Jonathan Demme pose during the photocall for Rachel Getting Married at the 2008 Venice Film Festival Damien Meyer/AFP