Martin “Marty” Cohen, longtime colleague of Steven Spielberg and head of postproduction at Amblin Entertainment, Dreamworks and Paramount Pictures, died May 17 in Los Angeles of natural causes after a battle with heart disease. He was 67.
“Marty began in the editing room with Michael Kahn and me on “The Color Purple’ and then made the transition to a post-production supervisory role on both DreamWorks and Paramount films,” Spielberg said in a statement. “Later, he worked with me and other filmmakers on film preservation, a passion we both shared. But more than anything, Marty was a dedicated and loyal member of our Amblin family for more than three decades. He cared deeply about the way movies looked to audiences, both in theaters and in homes. His keen eye and warm heart will be missed dearly at the finish line of every film we make from here on out.”
Cohen was a native of New York. He broke into the industry by working as a production assistant on Ralph Bakshi’s rotoscoping animation adaptation of “The Lord of The Rings” in 1978, followed by work on “Pennies From Heaven” and as an assistant editor on Amblin’s “The Goonies.” He began working for Spielberg on “The Color Purple” and then served as an associate editor on “Empire of the Sun.”
Cohen served as head of post-production for Amblin starting in 1987 and oversaw work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Back to the Future Part II and III,” “Hook,” and best picture winner “Schindler’s List.” He joined DreamWorks as head of post-production from 1994, when the studio was launched and worked on best picture winners “American Beauty” and “Gladiator” in addition to Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Minority Report,” “War of the Worlds” and “Munich.”
In 2005, Cohen joined Paramount Pictures and oversaw feature post-production through 2010. He was also a co-producer on 2012’s “The Hunger Games” and supervised the restoration of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy and Spielberg’s “Jaws.” Cohen was awarded the Motion Picture Editors Guild’s Fellowship and Service Award last October.
He is survived by his wife, Kathy; daughter, Maggie; son Gabriel; son Hershel, who works at EFILM; son Elijah, and two grandchildren, Alexis and Maya.
The family will hold a private burial at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary on May 22. A celebration of life will follow at a later date. Donations may be made to the Martin Cohen Memorial Scholarship Fund at Queen’s College.