Tony Scott's fatal plunge from a California bridge Sunday remained a public mystery Tuesday as medical investigators and his family disputed a report that the British director suffered from inoperable brain cancer.
Scott, best known for the films "Top Gun" and "Beverly Hills Cop II," apparently committed suicide by jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, California, about 12:30 p.m. Sunday, said Lt. Joe Bale of the coroner's office.
Scott, 68, wrote two notes before his death, including a message left in his Los Angeles office that was apparently for family members, a coroner official said.
The second note, detailing contact information for authorities investigating his death, was found in his Toyota Prius parked nearby, the official said.
Investigators would not say what clues those notes may have given them concerning Scott's motivation for suicide, which Bale said was the apparent cause of death.
"There's nothing to indicate it is anything else at this time," he said Monday.
It will be weeks before the findings of Monday's autopsy are made public, the coroner's office said Tuesday.
"Our examination is complete and we will be working towards a comprehensive document once we close the case," Deputy Chief Coroner Ed Winter said.
An ABC report Monday suggested the director was scripting his own death after being told by a doctor that he was dying of inoperable brain cancer. The network did not name the source of its information.
"I did talk to the family yesterday late afternoon, and according to his wife, he did not have brain cancer as reported, and (she) does not know who told ABC that information, which is absolutely false," Winter said.
Scott's unexplained death shocked the Hollywood stars who worked with him on a long list of successful movies over the past three decades. Denzel Washington, who starred in several Scott-directed thrillers -- including 2010's "Unstoppable" -- said it was "unfathomable to think that he is now gone."
"He had a tremendous passion for life and for the art of filmmaking and was able to share this passion with all of us through his cinematic brilliance," he said.
Born Anthony D.L. Scott in North Shields, England, in 1944, the director got his start as a teenager in front of the camera, starring in his older brother Ridley Scott's film "Boy and Bicycle." In 1995, the two joined forces to create the production company Scott Free Productions.
Tony Scott became a household name in 1986 as director of the mega-hit "Top Gun," starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. He followed that up with the Eddie Murphy action movie "Beverly Hills Cop II" in 1987.
Both Cruise and Murphy released statements mourning the loss of their director.
"Tony was my dear friend and I will really miss him. He was a creative visionary whose mark on film is immeasurable. My deepest sorrow and thoughts are with his family at this time," Cruise said.
Murphy described Scott as a "wonderful collaborator" and said he will be missed.
Pepperdine University film professor Craig Detweiler called Scott "the supreme stylist" who "operated at the top of his game throughout each decade of his career."
"He was able to make the thinnest of premises into something pulse-pounding and exciting, and he's almost a filmmaker as a magician who found drama amidst almost contrived situations," he said.
Taking his own life by jumping from a bridge is "a high-adrenaline ending, which matches his dramatic style," Detweiler said.
"He put Denzel Washington, Will Smith and Tom Cruise in movies where one man overcomes all struggles, triumphs over struggles, and yet it appears he was not able to write that story for himself," he said.
Actor Michael Rapaport, who was directed by Scott in "True Romance," took to Twitter to praise the director. In one post, he said there hasn't been a day since the movie was released in 1993 that someone doesn't tell him how much they loved the film.
"Tony Scott was a sweet enthusiastic & lovin man," Rapaport wrote.
Scott cemented his reputation for big-budget action films with 1990's "Revenge" starring Kevin Costner and "Days of Thunder" with Cruise. In 1998, he directed "Enemy of the State" with actors Smith and Gene Hackman.
It was on the set of "Days of Thunder" where Scott met actress Donna Wilson, whom he married in 1994. They had twin sons.