Art Seid, longtime TV editor and producer whose five-decade career included six years as producer of the “Perry Mason” TV series, died Thursday at Pacific Convalescent Home in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87.
Seid, born in New York and raised in Encino, Calif., and Hollywood, grew up in the film biz: His father, George, was head of a film lab in New York and moved to Hollywood in 1921 to become chief of Consolidated Film Industries and later head of Columbia Pictures’ film lab.
Art began working in post-production at Columbia directly after graduating from high school, even helping as an assistant editor on the 1937 classic “Lost Horizon.”
Shortly after World War II began, he enlisted and was assigned to the U.S. Army Motion Picture Signal Corps Unit, shooting documentaries alongside such filmmakers as John Ford. Later, Seid was transferred to “Fort Hal Roach,” where he edited dozens of documentaries and propaganda films.
Following the war, Seid returned to Columbia Pictures, where his first assignment was editing the Three Stooges film “You Nazty Spy.”
In 1956, Seid became head of 20th Century Fox Television, where he supervised TV series including “Broken Arrow,” “My Friend Flicka,” “The Bounty Hunter” and “The Twentieth Century Fox Hour Show.”
In 1957, he edited the pilot of “Perry Mason” and soon thereafter joined the show’s production company, Paisano Prods., as supervising film editor and associate producer. By 1960 he became the producer of “Perry Mason,” a post he held for six years until the show went off the air.
Following the cancellation of “Perry Mason,” Seid joined the post-production staff of Aaron Spelling, Danny Thomas and Sheldon Leonard as editor and then producer of such TV series as “I Spy” and “My Friend Tony.”
His later career included editing “Cagney and Lacey,” “MASH” and “The Paper Chase.” Additional TV editing credits included “Run, Simon, Run,” “Yuma,” “A Taste of Evil,” “Hurricane,” “Shark Kill,” “Sister, Sister,” “The High Price of Passion,” “Stranger in My Bed” and “Hands of a Stranger.”
He retired in 1990 to Malibu, where he had lived since the 1940s.
Seid is survived by wife Anne; four daughters, Wendy (an assistant editor), Heather, Kira and Lauri; and a sister.