Demme started his career working for Roger Corman and directed Caged Heat and Crazy Mama in the mid 70's for New World Pictures.
His later movies really made his name including the above mentioned Silence of The Lambs and Something Wild. His early work is what I will always remember him for.
He also has a small role in the 1977 masterpiece entitled Incredible Melting Man. He died of cancer at the age of 73.