‘Easy Rider’ Editor Donn Cambern’s Death Revealed by Family
Oscar- and Emmy-nominated editor Donn Cambern passed away on Wednesday (January 18, 2023), his heartbroken family confirmed. He was 93.
The Guild confirmed Donn Cambern’s death in a Facebook post, writing: “MPEG mourns the loss of Donn Cambern, ACE, an Oscar-nominated editor and former Guild president who passed this week at age 93.”
“Donn edited ‘Easy Rider’ and co-edited ‘Romancing the Stone.’ He was also a tireless advocate and educator who was fondly recalled by friends and colleagues,” the statement read.
Cambern was born on October 9, 1929, in Los Angeles, California. He obtained a B.A. in music from UCLA. In 2007, Donn was senior filmmaker-in-residence at the American Film Institute Conservatory.
He was hired as a messenger at Disney. “I developed a simple strategy. Every day while making my rounds, I would physically bump into the head of editorial,” Cambern wrote, according to CineMontage.
Donn added: “If he was stepping into the elevator I would back into him and step on his toes. If he was walking down a hall, I would manage to bump into him. Finally, he gave in and within three months I was an apprentice.”
He received four American Cinema Editors nominations for “The Bob Hope Christmas Special“, “The Hindenburg”, “Hooper” and “Romancing the Stone”.
His work on “The Bob Hope Christmas Special” earned him an Emmy nomination, and “Romancing the Stone” earned an Oscar nomination for best film editing.
In 2004, the actor was awarded the American Cinema Editors career achievement award. In the 1960s, he edited music for TV including “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Gomer Pyle: USMC.”
The star then began working in picture editing, and a colleague’s chance call led Donn to the Academy Award-winning film “Easy Rider” and launched his film editing career.
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Donn Cambern Passed Away at 93
Former president of the Motion Picture Editors Guild Donn Cambern passed away at the age of 93. His family confirmed the sad news to the MPEG journal CineMontage.
Cambern’s later works include “Ghostbusters II“, “The Bodyguard” and “The Glimmer Man”. He was president of Local 700 of the MPEG from 1992 to 2001.
He was the governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a teacher at the American Film Institute (AFI).
After the sad news of Donn Cambern’s death was revealed, his friends and fans quickly flooded social media with tribute messages. Many fans also took to Twitter to pay touching tributes to him.
Remarked national executive guild director Cathy Repola wrote: “Donn was one of those rare kinds of people who was loved by everyone who came into contact with him.”
“During his years serving as president of the Guild, he was instrumental in initiating and steering us through significant changes that have ultimately benefitted all of the members. We are forever grateful to him,” Repola added.
Noah Harald wrote: “Saw that the great Donn Cambern passed today. He edited Easy Rider, The Last Picture Show, Romancing The Stone, Twins, +++. I studied editing with him at film school and he had the school unearth their Steenbeck so I could cut my negative master with him in the parking garage.”
He continued: “An absolute legend. A patient and kind teacher and mentor, who leaves behind an astonishing legacy. Rest in peace and much love to his family.”
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