British film director Anthony Minghella has died. He was 54.

He suffered complications following surgery last week for cancer of the tonsils and neck, his agent said.

“The surgery had gone well and they were very optimistic,” said Leslee Dart. “But he developed a haemorrhage last night and they were not able to stop it.”

Minghella, who was appointed a CBE in 2001, won an Oscar for directing The English Patient and was also Oscar-nominated for writing the screenplay for 1999’s The Talented Mr Ripley.

His other films include Truly, Madly, Deeply and Cold Mountain and he was chairman of the British Film Institute (BFI).

Minghella has also directed a TV episode of book The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, due to be screened on BBC1 this Easter.

A 90-minute pilot was co-written with Richard Curtis.

Minghella began his career as a writer with his early radio plays winning several awards.

When he took on the role of chairman of the British Film Institute (BFI) in 2003, he told the BBC: “We’re not getting enough movies made here, our studios aren’t busy enough, we don’t have enough studios.

“We’re not good at lassoing the talent we have here and containing it within the British Isles, and we should all be working to address that.”