Garth Craven Dead: Legally Blonde Film Editor Was 84

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Film and sound editor Garth Craven, who edited films including “Legally Blonde” and got his start in film editing with Sam Peckinpah’s “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” died May 20 in Barcelona. He was 84.

His death was only recently announced by his daughter Willow.

Craven not only worked in the cutting room but also in sound departments and served as second unit director on several films. At the beginning of his career, Craven worked on Federico Fellini’s fantasy drama “Satyricon” (1969) in the sound editing department, which served as his introduction to filmmaking.

Back in England, he continued working on films in London. Resuming his work in the sound department, Craven received a BAFTA for the critically acclaimed romantic drama “The Go-Between” (1971) directed by Joseph Losey.

He eventually became a frequent collaborator and friend of Peckinpah. Craven worked as a sound consultant on “The Getaway,” a sound editor on “Straw Dogs,” as an editor on “Convoy” and as a supervising editor on “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.”

“People used to talk about Sam shooting a lot of film,” Craven said in a 1993 interview. He described working with vast amounts of footage on Peckinpah’s famously contentious “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” his first credit as film editor, which was taken away by the studio and re-edited before its release.

“He gave me my first break as a film editor, and that’s where I learned everything I know,” said Craven, who described Peckinpah in the interview as “tough and enigmatic.” “He was a complicated man.”

Craven also served as second unit director on several films including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which he also edited; “Air America,” “Leap of Faith” and “Carny.”

Moreover, Craven worked on several beloved romantic comedies of the 1990s and 2000s, including “Legally Blonde,” “Turner & Hooch” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”

His other film editing credits include “Educating Rita,” “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” and “Soapdish.”

Craven was born and raised in Yorkshire, England. He studied Philosophy and English at the University of Leeds, where he met his wife Jacqueline.

Craven is survived by his wife Jacqueline, three children and three grandchildren.

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