Anne V. Coates, Admired Editor of Acclaimed Movies, Dies at 92

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Anne V. Coates in 2003. Her six-decade film editing career took her from England to Hollywood. Credit Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Reprinted from The New York Times by Margalit Fox on May 9, 2018.

Anne V. Coates, an English surgical nurse who forsook her calling to perform surgery on some of the best-known motion pictures of the 20th century, earning an Academy Award for film editing in 1963, died on Tuesday in Woodland Hills, California. She was 92.

Her death, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, was announced on Twitter by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

One of the most celebrated film editors of her era, Coates won an Oscar for her work on Lawrence of Arabia (1962), the enduring drama directed by David Lean and starring Peter O’Toole. (The film won six additional Oscars, including best picture.)

In a six-decade career that took her from England to Hollywood, Coates worked with some of the best-known directors of her time, including, besides Lean, Michael Powell, Milos Forman (who died last month) and Sidney Lumet, receiving four more Oscar nominations along the way. …

NY Times 5/9

2010 CineMontage interview with Anne Coates

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Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at

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