George Bowers, an editor on high-profile feature films including “A League of Their Own,” “The Preacher’s Wife” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and a director of films including “My Tutor” and “Private Resort,” died of complications related to heart surgery in Los Angeles on Aug. 18. He was 68.
Bowers edited five films for director Penny Marshall: baseball comedy “A League of Their Own,” Whoopi Goldberg starrer “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (on which he was associate producer), “Renaissance Man,” Denzel Washington-Whitney Houston vehicle “The Preacher’s Wife” and “She’s Having a Baby” (on which he was credited as an additional editor).
Other editing credits include “Harlem Nights,” written, directed by and starring Eddie Murphy; Julia Roberts starrer “Sleeping With the Enemy”; actioner “Money Train,” with Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson; hit comedy “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” with Rob Schneider; the Hughes brothers’ “From Hell,” with Johnny Depp; Disney theme park ride adaptation “The Country Bears”; and the “Walking Tall” remake starring Dwayne Johnson.
Most recently he was co-editor on the 2008 Martin Lawrence vehicle “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins”
Born in the Bronx, Bowers started in the entertainment industry after high school with a job at ABC-TV, but enlisted in the Army after his application to the Motion Picture Editors Union was denied. Trained as a photographer with the Signal Corps, he served three years in the U.S. and Korea. Upon his return he secured his union membership and became an assistant at Byro Prods.
As the civil rights moment opened more opportunities for African Americans and interest in African American subjects, Bowers went on to edit segments of Tony Brown’s TV show “Black Journal.” His first feature editing effort was “A Fable,” an adaptation of an Amiri Baraka play directed by Al Freeman Jr., which Bowers followed with “Come Back, Charleston Blue” and Stan Lathan’s documentary “Save the Children.”
He also directed and produced content for public television, such as the highly praised children’s series, “Vegetable Soup.” He was awarded an American Film Institute grant to produce and direct his own short film, “Helen.”
Bowers also edited several features for Crown Intl.: “The Pom Pom Girls,” “Van Nuys Blvd.,” “Galaxina” and “The Beach Girls.” There he also developed and directed two features, “The Hearse,” and “My Tutor.” His directing credits include other B movies such as “Body and Soul,” “Private Resort” and several episodes of “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
He taught editing at USC’s School of Film and Television and in Cuba at EICTV (Escuela International de Cinema y Television).
George was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the American Cinema Editors as well as the Directors Guild of America and the Motion Picture Editors Guild.
He is survived by his wife, Irene; two daughters; and three sisters.
A memorial will be held in Harlem on Friday, Sept. 28, from 7-9 p.m. at the National Black Programming Consortium, 68 East 131st Street, seventh floor.