Satoshi Kon (今 敏) was a Japanese anime directer, writer, and manga artist. His artistic vision and penchant for blending reality with dreams and the subconscious made him one of the few modern artists pushing anime forward. Mr. Kon is best known for directing Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Paprika, and Tokyo Godfathers. He also directed the psychological horror anime series Paranoia Agent.
Mr. Kon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May of 2010, and passed away at the age of 46 on August 24, 2010. You can read his final words here.
Mr. Kon was working on a new film called The Dream Machine at the time of his passing. It has recently been announced that production on the movie will continue, though doubtless the completion of the movie will be bittersweet for both the fans and those at Madhouse Inc. (UPDATE: production has been temporarily halted due to financial difficulties.)