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Eric Yellin, a respected assistant director with credits including Todd Field’s In the Bedroom, Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale and Christopher McQuarrie’s Jack Reacher, has died. He was 55.
Yellin died Jan. 10 at home in Newport Beach, California, following a yearlong battle with cancer, his wife, producer Rosadel Varela, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Yellin also worked extensively in television, serving as first A.D. on such series as Law & Order, Damages, Royal Pains, The Following, Person of Interest and Sneaky Pete.
Born in Encino on Sept. 8, 1966, Eric Martin Yellin was raised in Newport Beach and attended the Dunn School in Los Olivos, California, before earning his bachelor’s degree from Boston University in 1988.
He moved to New York and began his film career as a production assistant, working on 1993’s Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson, directed by Barbara Kopple, John McTiernan’s Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995), Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite (1995) and Deconstructing Harry (1997), and Barbra Streisand’s The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996).
Meanwhile, he began handling second A.D. duties on such features as Drunks (1995), Sam Raimi’s For Love of the Game (1999), David O. Russell’s Three Kings (1999), John Singleton‘s Shaft (2000), Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous (2000) and Andy Tennant’s Sweet Home Alabama (2002).
He served as an A.D. on other films from there, including 13 Going on 30 (2004), Raising Helen (2004), Jumper (2008), 27 Dresses (2008) and Man on a Ledge (2012), and co-directed and co-produced The Pepper Project (2015). Along the way, he was known as a mentor to many.
An outdoor service was held Saturday in Newport Beach, and memorial remembrances will follow in New York and Martha’s Vineyard this spring.
Donations can be made to the Eric Yellin Film Fund at Boston University (choose “other fund” and enter Eric Yellin Film Fund). It will provide additional money to upperclassmen at the school’s College of Communication for their honors thesis projects, giving them the opportunity to create higher-quality films. (Most of the funding is now raised by the students on their own.)
Also, a bench in his honor will be dedicated near Tavern on the Green in Central Park.
In addition to his wife — she met her future husband on the set of Shaft when she was a DGA trainee — survivors include sons Griffin and Nolan; sister Julie; niece Samantha; and nephews Alex and Richard.
“Although he had no biological brothers,” his wife said, “he had many whom he counted as such and who are part of a fraternity he left behind and who will look after his sons. He will be missed more deeply than words can express.”
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