George Bowers – film editor of roughly 30 feature films, dating back to the early 1970s, and mentor to long-time Spike Lee editor (as well as director and producer in his own right) Sam Pollard – has died, according to The Hollywood Reporter, who say that he actually died on August 18 of complications related to heart surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Apparently, his daughter announced it just today.
Bowers was 68 years old.
Editors, who are often working behind closed doors, alone, and in near-silence, rarely get the same quality and quantity of press that actors and directors do, but their work is absolutely integral to the film production process.
To his credit, Bowers cut films like Come Back, Charleston Blue (1972), Shoot To Kill (1988), Harlem Nights (1989), Sleeping With The Enemy (1991), A League Of Their Own (1992), The Preacher’s Wife (1996), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), From Hell (2001), Walking Tall (2004), Roll Bounce (2005), and at least a doze more.
He edited at least 1 feature almost every single year between 1979 and 2005. His last cut was 2008’s Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins.
Bowers was also a director, helming 4 feature films (The Hearse (1980), Body and Soul (1981), My Tutor (1983), Private Resort (1985)) and episodes of 2 TV series (Vegetable Soup (1976), The Dukes of Hazzard (1984)).
He also edited segments for Tony Brown’s Black Journal.
He is said to have become an assistant editor at ABC immediately after graduating from high school, with the help of his friend and mentor, Hugh Robertson, one of the first African Americans in the Motion Picture Editors Guild.
Bowers was born on April 20, 1944, in the Bronx, NYC.
At the time of his death, he was 68 years old. He’s survived by his wife, Irene Brun, and daughters Tanya and Natalie.
A memorial service will be held at 7 pm on Septenber 28 at Harlem’s National Black Programming Consortium at 68 E. 131st St. in New York.