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Film preservationist Nancy Mysel dies

Work at UCLA Film & TV Archive centered on noir pics

Nancy Mysel, a film preservationist with the UCLA Film & Television Archive who was a leading specialist in restoring black-and-white movies in the film noir genre, died June 17 after an eight-year battle with metastatic breast cancer. She was 45.

Mysel supervised the restoration of Joseph Losey’s “The Prowler” and Robert Parrish’s “Cry Danger,” noir films that were rediscovered.

“Nancy was a skilled and versatile preservationist and her loss has been, and will continue to be, profoundly felt by many on both a personal and professional level,” said Jan-Christopher Horak, director of the archive.

Mysel began work as a film preservationist at UCLA in 2000 after having joined the archive the previous year.

Other film noir-related projects included the restoration and assembly, with Robert Gitt, of production outtakes from 1955 classic “The Night of the Hunter” and the restoration of Douglas Sirk’s “Sleep My Love,” Anthony Mann’s “Strangers in the Night,” Fritz Lang’s “Cloak and Dagger” and Edgar G. Ulmer’s “Ruthless.” Mysel’s restoration of the “The Chase” will premiere at the UCLA Festival of Preservation in March.

Mysel also did a considerable amount of work on non-noir projects, collaborating with organizations such as the Film Foundation, Sundance, Film Noir Foundation, the National Film Preservation Foundation and Outfest. Her eclectic output included George Stevens’ “Penny Serenade,” four films by pioneering female director Dorothy Arzner, documentaries and groundbreaking LGBT works.

Mysel was born in Paterson, N.J., graduated from Boston U.’s School of Communications and was assistant picture and sound editor for National Geographic in Washington, D.C., for seven years.

She is survived by her parents, a brother and a sister.

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