The life of British documentary maker Isabelle Thomas, who was married to the producer of Oscar-nominated film Killers of the Flower Moon, was cut tragically short this week.
The Baronet’s daughter from the Cotswolds, who described herself as “mother and producer” on her website, had settled in California with her husband and twin daughters, and worked in science and the arts.
Emergency services were called to the Hotel Angeleno in LA on Monday night, where the 39-year-old was found by the pool area. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office ruled she had died by suicide with injuries consistent with a fall. According to website TMZ, officials said she had not left a note.
The news about Thomas, whose friends called Izzy, was met with shock. Jameela Jamil posted a heart-wrenching message on Instagram: “I lost a friend very suddenly this week. I was supposed to see her a few weeks ago and couldn’t because I was busy with stupid f***ing work. I missed the chance to tell her I love her. And to hold her one last time.”
She added in the caption underneath: “My heart is completely and utterly broken and I don’t think I will ever recover.”
As well as moving in celebrity circles (In 2010, she was pictured with Amy Winehouse at a charity event in Camden) from her background as a DJ to working around the film industry, she also once addressed the United Nations Conference of Parties and the World Bank, and was appointed as a tech advisor by David Cameron.
Mike Fleming Jr, co-editor-in-chief, film for publication Deadline, said he was “shaken to the core by the news,” and described her as a “beautiful, kind and vibrant woman who would light up a room”.
In 2018, she married Hollywood producer Bradley Thomas, who were recently seen out together at a BAFTA event in Beverley Hills just a few weeks ago.
As well as producing Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which is currently in the running for Best Picture at the Oscars. The 58-year-old was executive producer on The Square and Triangle of Sadness, both of which won the Palm d’Or at Cannes.
He also worked regularly with directors the Farrelly Brothers on films including Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin and There’s Something About Mary.
Born Isabelle Lawrence, she was the daughter of Sir Henry Lawrence, 7th Baronet of Lucknow and Penelope Nunan (they divorced in 1993) and had one elder brother, Christopher Lawrence.
She went to King Edward’s School and Prior Park College in Bath before heading to Oxford University, where she graduated in biological sciences. She specialised in neuroscience and animal behaviour at Brasenose College.
In 2013, then Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her as one of the members of his Tech City Advisory Board, an organisation set up to help promote UK technology companies and to try and create a centre for tech in the UK, back start ups and grow IT businesses here and abroad. She also worked as a science consultant for the World Bank. As well as addressing the UN’s climate change group, she also spoke at events for the government advisory group, the Technology Strategy Board and Google.
Alongside this serious, advisory side, Thomas loved music and going out. She worked as a DJ at clubs in London including Boujis in South Kensington, as well as doing gigs further afield such as at Ibiza Rocks. She also DJed at the official after-party for the Grammy Awards and at Vogue Fashion Nights out and created the music nights Apocalypstic.
She was featured in an article in the Los Angeles Times in 2014, following her to a gig at an off-site party during Coachella, which described her as a “DJ-slash-model-slash-BBC-TV-presenter-slash-Oxford-grad”.
Since then she was much in demand as a consultant on projects for international entertainment companies, and according to Flemming Jr produced documentaries – one on kindness and a more recent one on pickleball.
She was also on the advisory board for the Center for Scholars and Storytellers, was a member of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
As they struggle to come to terms with this loss, the family requested that instead of flowers, friends and those touched by Thomas could donate to the Mental Health Coalition.
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