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Marjorie Fowler

Film editor

A correction was made to this article on July 21, 2003.

Oscar-nommed film editor Marjorie Fowler died July 8 in L.A. She was 83.

Fowler’s career spanned five decades, from silents to digital. Her Oscar nom came for “Dr. Dolittle” in 1968. She was also nominated six times for an ACE Eddie Award receiving the honor in 1982 for “The Marva Collins Story”.

In February 2000, she was honored with the Lifetime Career Achievement Award from the American Cinema Editors.

Born into a family of storytellers — her mother was a journalist and her father, Nunnally Johnson, then a journalist, soon became the renowned screenwriter-director-producer — she grew up in a world influenced heavily by the arts.

She started as a contract player at 20th Century Fox, but soon moved on to story analyst. Having a strong narrative sense at an early age, she understood the role of the film editor in the picture-making process and found her way to the Editorial Department and her future calling.

Besides working on some of her father’s films (including “Three Faces of Eve,” “Oh, Men! Oh, Women” and “The Man Who Understood Women”), she also edited such diverse fare as TV’s “Sky King,” “The New Adventures of China Smith” and “Eight Is Enough” to filmdom’s all-star “Separate Tables,” “Elmer Gantry,” “The Outsider” and “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.”

She pioneered the use of a diagonal splicer for sound editing and had to borrow one from the music department, the only department “allowed” to have one at the time.

She is survived by a son, a granddaughter, two sisters and a brother. Her husband, film editor-director and former ACE prexy Gene Fowler Jr., predeceased her.

Donations may be made to the Motion Picture Editors Guild.

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