Norman Hollyn Dies: ‘Sophie’s Choice’ And ‘Heathers’ Editor Was 66

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Celebrated film editor and music editor and USC School of Cinematic Arts professor Norman Hollyn died in Yokohama, Japan Sunday night from coronary embolism and cardiac arrest. He was 66.

Dean Elizabeth Daley of the USC School of Cinematic Arts confirmed his death on Facebook. “All of us at the USC School of Cinematic Arts are profoundly saddened by the passing of Norman Hollyn, who was an extraordinary film, television and music editor, and was the inaugural holder of the Michael Kahn Endowed Chair in Editing here at SCA,” wrote Daley. “Norm died in Yokohama, Japan, where he was sharing his wonderful knowledge with students from Tokyo University of the Arts. Norm was such an important member of our faculty for many years and his loss is devastating. We will grieve with his family in the days ahead and find a time this Spring to join together to celebrate his life and his many contributions to all of us here at SCA.”

Hollyn was born in New York May 11, 1952. After graduating from Stony Brook University with a degree in theater arts his career in entertainment began. He worked on notable films as an editor in an apprentice or assistant capacity including Bob Fosse’s Lenny (1974) and Sidney Lumet’s Network (1976). He also worked as an assistant music editor on Milos Forman’s Hair (1979) and an assistant editor on Alan Parker’s Fame (1980).

He built an impressive list of credits while working as an assistant and would go on to work on even more iconic films including the Oscar-winning Sophie’s Choice starring Meryl Streep and the cult dark comedy Heathers starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. He also served as music editor on Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club.

He wrote “The Film Editing Room Handbook” in 1986 and shared his gift as an editor by teaching and hosting workshops at Sundance and around the world. He also served as a consultant for DreamWorks and Pixar.

Hollyn is survived by his wife Janet and his daughter Elizabeth.

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