Pioneering film editor won an Oscar for “Lawrence of Arabia”
By: Legacy Staff
7 months ago
Anne V. Coates, five-time Academy Award nominated film editor who won an Oscar for editing the classic movie “Lawrence of Arabia,” has died at the age of 92.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) tweeted the news of her death.
“We’re so sad to learn that British film editor Anne V. Coates has died. During her incredible career, Anne was BAFTA-nominated four times for work including ‘The Elephant Man’ and ‘Erin Brockovich,’ and received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2007. She will be greatly missed.”
In a position dominated by men, she won the Oscar in 1962 for David Lean’s legendary “Lawrence of Arabia,” which starred Peter O’Toole. Coates did an iconic “match” cut for the movie in which a shot of O’Toole blowing out a match becomes a desert sunrise.
The cut came about by accident, she told The Hollywood Reporter’s Carolyn Giardina in an interview in 2015.
"We were working on film, and so when we were running the sequence, we saw it cut together," Coates recalled. "Nowadays using digital, you would have done a [dissolve] in the machine, and you never would have seen it cut together like it was. Almost at the same moment, David and I looked at each other and said, ‘That is a fabulous cut.' He said, ‘It's not quite perfect — take it away and make it perfect,' and I literally took two frames off the outgoing shot, and that's the way it is today."
Coates received four other Academy nominations for her work on “Becket” (1964), David Lynch’s “The Elephant Man” (1980), “In the Line of Fire” (1993) and Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight” (1998).
She also edited “What About Bob?,” “Chaplin,” and “Erin Brockovich.” Recently she was a co-editor for “Fifty Shades of Gray.”
She received an honorary Academy Award at the 2016 Governors Awards.
In the same 2015 interview with Carolyn Giardina, she talked about breaking into the industry.
“When I tried to get into the industry, there were only certain jobs open to women. Things like hairdressing didn't really interest me.” "I might have been interested in photography, but women couldn't do that in those days. I found the most interesting job a woman could do, other than acting, was editing. I didn't know much about editing when I went into it, but I learned to love it."
She was married to film director Douglas Hickox. Survivors include their daughter Emma E. Hickox, a film editor, and sons Anthony Hickox and James Hickox, both directors.
We invite you to share condolences for Anne V. Coates in her Guest Book.