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Neil Travis, Oscar-Winning Film Editor, Dies at 75

He worked on “Dances With Wolves,” “Patriot Games” and “Cocktail” and earned an Emmy for the miniseries “Roots.”

Film editor Neil Travis, an Oscar winner for his work on Dances With Wolves and an Emmy recipient for Roots, died March 28 of natural causes at his home in Arroyo Grande, Calif., UTA reported. He was 75.

During his four-decade career, Travis also teamed with the directors Phillip Noyce on Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994), two films based on Tom Clancy novels; with Lee Tamahori on The Edge (1997) and Along Came a Spider (2001); and with Chris Columbus on Stepmon (1988) and Bicentennial Man (1999).

In addition to Oscar best-picture winner Dances With Wolves (1990), Travis’ resumé includes The Cowboys (1972), Hot Stuff (1987), No Way Out (1987), Cocktail (1988), Deceived (1991), Outbreak (1995) and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003).

The Los Angeles native and UCLA graduate began his career as an assistant editor at Paramount in his early 20s. His first feature was The Traveling Executioner (1970), and, in addition to 1977’s Roots, he worked in TV on such series as Please Don’t Eat the Daisies and Harry O.

In a 2010 interview with the Archive of American Television, Travis explained his philosophy: “Every movie is different; you can’t apply the same rules,” he said. “I don’t have editorial rules. I just approach everything as if it were brand new, the first piece of work I’ve ever done.”

Travis received a career achievement award from the American Cinema Editors in 2010. 

Survivors include his wife Ruth and children Michael and Michelle. Services will be held in Arroyo Grande on May 12. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Hospice Partners of the Central Coast, the YMCA or the Boy Scouts of America. 

E-mail: Mike.Barnes@Thr.com

Twitter: @mikebarnes4