Ray West, Oscar-Winning ‘Star Wars’ Sound Mixer, Dies at 90

Ray West Is Dead: Won Oscar
Courtesy of David John West

George “Ray” West, who shared the Oscar for best sound mixing for “Star Wars” in 1978, died at home in Santa Barbara, Calif., on February 17. He was 90.

He also won Emmys for sound mixing for the NBC TV movies “The Winds of Kitty Hawk” (1978), starring Michael Moriarty, and “Unnatural Causes” (1986), starring John Ritter, amassing a total of 13 Emmy nominations.

West co-owned West Productions, mixing sound on “Evil Dead 2,” ” The Wonder Years” and “The X-Files.” He started mixing on shows including “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Gunsmoke.”

He was born in Detroit and abandoned by his parents when he was 12 years old in the midst of the Great Depression, surviving by doing odd jobs, including sweeping the floors of the local movie theater. He served in the Navy during World War II.

West is survived by his wife Jean, to whom he was married for 65 years; three sons, Sterling, Greg and David; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

A celebration of his life is scheduled for March 12 at 2:30 p.m. at the VFW Ship, 1006 West Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, Calif.

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