According to TMZ, paramedics responded to a call Tuesday afternoon, when Hanson went unconscious at his home in the Hollywood Hills. Medics pronounced the director dead at the scene, citing an apparent heart attack as the cause of death.
Hanson was born in Reno, Nev. on March 25, 1945. He was a prolific director, producer, and screenwriter since starting his career in the 1970s. In his early days, Hanson was a director-for-hire in Hollywood for low-budget films like Tom Cruise’s Losin’ It in 1983. He earned success directing popular films such as Wonder Boys, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, The River Wild with Meryl Streep, In Her Shoes, and L.A. Confidential. The latter also earned Hanson an Oscar in 1998 for screenwriting.
In a 2002 interview with Rolling Stone, Hanson explained his role in 8 Mile and how he wanted the project to be seen as more than just a “rap movie.”
"Hip-hop movies usually illustrate the lyrics of certain kinds of hip-hop songs," he explained. "You have a lot of guns, you have a lot of drugs and so forth. Our story is about hip-hop fans. They don't live the life that is depicted in hip-hop lyrics, but they identify of the emotion of those lyrics."
Hanson was born in Reno, Nev. On March 25, 1945. In his early career, Hanson was a director-for-hire in Hollywood for low-budget films like Tom Cruise’s Losin’ It in 1983. He later scored successful films in the early 1990s such as Bad Influence and The River Wild.
Hanson also went on to direct other major pictures such as 2011’s Too Big to Fail and his last film Chasing Maverick, a biopic of surfer Jay Moriarity starring Gerald Butler. Due to complications related to heart surgery, Hanson had to leave the production of the film, and Michael Apted picked up where he left off to complete it. They share a credit together.
In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Eminem, who starred in 8 Mile, said, "Curtis Hanson believed in me and our crazy idea to make a rap battle movie set in Detroit. He basically made me into an actor for 8 Mile. I'm lucky I got to know him."