Thomas F. Boutross, director, producer, and editor of numerous low-budget films and network TV shows, died Wednesday of heart failure in Kansas City, Mo. He was 69.

Boutross is best known for his work as a writer-editor on wildlife segments of Disney’s “The Wonderful World of Color” and as the editor of the long-running series “Gunsmoke.”

After a two-year stint in the Army, Boutross attended the USC School of Cinema for his masters in communications. It was there that he met actor Robert Clarke, with whom he collaborated on “The Hideous Sun Demon.”

Boutross went on to edit a variety of low-budget feature films, including “Bootleggers” and “A Man Called Dagger.” He also served as an associate producer on “High Jungle.” It was during the shooting of this pic in South America that he contracted the fever that led to the heart condition from which he died.

Boutross is survived by three sisters, three brothers and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more