8 January 2013

South Africa: American Film Director Found Dead in Sandton

Johannesburg — American film director David Ellis has been found dead in his hotel room in Sandton, the BBC Online reported on Tuesday.

The news of the 60-year-old's death was confirmed by his manager, the website reported.

Ellis worked in the film industry for many years and directed several films including "Snakes on a Plane" and "Final Destination".

Gauteng police spokesman Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said Ellis was found in the bathroom of his room at the Sandton Sun Hotel on Monday at 1pm.

"It is unknown what was the cause of death. He was last seen on Saturday at 12 [noon] in a restaurant by his friend," he said.

"The body was discovered by the hotel manager. Nothing was found to be missing from his room and no foul play is being suspected at this stage."

A post mortem was done on Tuesday morning, but the cause of death was still unknown.

"The US embassy has been informed and are believed to be making necessary arrangements for the body to be taken to his own country," said Dlamini.

Ellis, a former actor, had been working on his new film Kite.

Snakes on a Plane star Samuel L Jackson, who was also set to star in Kite, took to Twitter to offer condolences for his colleague's passing.

"So sad to hear of David R Ellis passing. So talented, so kind, such a good friend. He'll be missed. Gone to soon," Jackson tweeted.

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