William J. Saracino, MGM music editor and music supervisor who worked at the Lion for more than 50 years and whose credits include “Ben Hur,” “Gigi,” “High Society” and “The Deer Hunter,” died Wednesday July 17 at his home in Canyon Country, Calif. He was 89.
Saracino’s resume reads like a history of MGM itself, ranging from “The Wizard of Oz” and “An American in Paris” to “Viva Las Vegas” and “Coma.” Additional credits among many include “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Babes on Broadway,” “Best Foot Forward,” “Dangerous When Wet,” “Doctor Zhivago,” “For Me and My Gal,” “Girl Crazy,” 1969’s “Goodbye, Mr. Chips,” Love Me or Leave Me,” the classic “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “Show Boat” and Neil Diamond version of “The Jazz Singer” starring. L.A. native quit high school to take a $16-a-week job at 5-year-old merged movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He began as a bicycle messenger and worked his way up to gofer for studio execs and a tour guide for studio visitors, then became studio projectionist and eventually music editor. A charter member of Local 776, he worked at MGM until his retirement in 1986.
He is survived by two children, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.