Oscar-nominated editor, 56, found dead in L.A.


Sally Menke, an Oscar-nominated film editor who worked on every Quentin Tarantino movie, was found dead Tuesday along a Griffith Park trail where she went hiking during a record heat wave. She was 56.

Menke, the wife of Oscar-winning director Dean Parisot, edited every Tarantino pic from "Reservoir Dogs" (1992) to last year's "In¬glourious Basterds," which earned her an Oscar nomination. She also received a nom for "Pulp Fiction" (1994).

Investigators suspect she died of hyperthermia Monday, when downtown Los Angeles was on its way to a record high of 113, Los Angeles County coroner's Lt. Fred Corral said. An autopsy is planned for Wednesday.

A Friars Club Roast of Tarantino, scheduled for Friday in New York with Samuel L. Jackson as roast master, was postponed. The director met with executives, "and it was immediately decided, out of respect for the sad loss, to postpone the roast," a Friars spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter.

Tarantino could not be reached for comment.

Menke's body was discovered at 2:15 a.m. in rugged Beachwood Canyon on the west side of Griffith Park, assistant coroner Ed Winter said. Her black Labrador retriever was standing near her body.

The Los Angeles native went for a hike with the dog and a friend Monday morning. They had a 16-ounce bottle of water and had been walking for about 45 minutes when Menke, who had a history of seizures, complained of dizziness and said she would return to her car, Corral said.

"Her friend continued on and didn't see her again," he said.

About 15 minutes after the two split up, another hiker spotted Menke on a trail. She appeared disoriented but declined any help, Corral said.

She also made a brief cell phone call at about 10:15 a.m. to Parisot, who was in Canada on business, Corral said.

Menke's credits also include "Death Proof" (2007), "Grindhouse" (2007), "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" (2004), "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" (2003), "Daddy and Them" (2001), "D.C. Smalls" (2001), "All the Pretty Horses" (2000), "Jackie Brown" (1997), "Nightwatch" (1997), "Mulholland Falls" (1996), "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe" (1991) and "Cold Feet" (1983).

"It goes without saying that she made tremendous contributions to the world of cinema and truly was a creative force on all the films we worked on together," said Harvey Weinstein, who executive produced "Basterds" and other Tarantino pics.

Tarantino and Menke "worked liked a brother and sister in the best sense," he added. "They complemented each other. They disagreed, but ultimately they loved movies and they loved each other."

Georg Szalai reported from New York; Mike Barnes reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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