Reprinted from The Tallahassee Democrat by Mark Hinson on January 29, 2017.
Academy Award-winner and retired Florida State film school professor Richard Portman, who mixed the sound for such famed movies as Star Wars (1977) and Harold and Maude (1971), died Saturday night at his home in Betton Hills. He was 82. Portman’s death followed after a fall, a broken hip and other medical complications.
“He was an icon of his craft of motion picture sound re-recording, recognized with the highest honors of his field,” daughter Jennifer Portman wrote on her Facebook page. “He was eccentric, irreverent and real.”
The tall, lanky Portman, who preferred to wear kaftans and a long braided pony tail down his back, was, indeed, hard to miss. He was a walking contradiction: an ex-Marine with hippie tendencies who developed his own free-flowing philosophy about life but was a stickler when it came to punctuality. Anyone invited to Portman’s house for dinner knew to show up at 7 p.m. sharp, not 7:05 p.m. …