Jim Clark, Oscar-Winning Editor of 'The Killing Fields,' Dies at 85

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'The Killing Fields'

The film editor, who also won a BAFTA for his work on the acclaimed Cambodian war drama, passed away after being ill for some time.

Jim Clark, who won both an Oscar and BAFTA for his film editing work on Roland Joffe's The Killing Fields, has died. He was 85.

The news was announced Tuesday by the Guild of British Film and TV Editors, which said Clark had been ill for some time.

"He was a likeable and respected man and will be missed especially by Laurence his wife," said John Grover, the Guild's vice chairman, who had known Jim for many years.

Born in 1931, Clark cut his teeth as an assistant editor at the famed Ealing Studios in London, where he found himself working on two films directed by Stanley Donen, with Jack Harris editing. When Harris turned down the chance to edit Donen's next film, 1960's Surprise Package, Clark was offered the job.

Although Clark said it was a "fairly bad movie," Donen then invited Clark to edit The Grass is Greener and later 1961's supernatural horror, The Innocents, starring Deborah Kerr, a film that he claimed put him "on the map."

But over a career that would go on to span more than 40 films, including Midnight Cowboy and Marathon Man as well as several directing credits, it was 1984's Khmer Rouge historical drama The Killing Fields that would see Clark earn his highest accolades. The pic collected three Academy Awards and eight BAFTAs, including two editing awards for Clark. He would follow up his BAFTA win with another from the British Academy in 1987 for The Mission, again with Joffe.

Other films edited by Clark include The Jackal (1997) and The World Is Not Enough (1999). His final film credit was Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky (2008).

In 2011, Clark published the memoir Dream Repairman: Adventures in Film Editing.

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