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Mark Livolsi, the in-demand film editor who worked on features that included Wedding Crashers, The Devil Wears Prada, The Blind Side and the upcoming reimagining of The Lion King, has died. He was 56.
Livolsi died unexpectedly in his Pasadena apartment on Sept. 23, his wife, Maria, told The Hollywood Reporter. The cause of death is not yet known.
Livolsi collaborated with directors Cameron Crowe on Almost Famous (2000), Vanilla Sky (2001), Elizabethtown (2005) and We Bought a Zoo (2011) and with Oliver Stone on Wall Street (1987) and Heaven & Earth (1993).
A four-time Eddie Award nominee, Livolsi edited the remake of The Jungle Book (2016) and The Lion King (2019) for director Jon Favreau; The Blind Side (2009) and Saving Mr. Banks (2013) for John Lee Hancock; Wedding Crashers (2005), Fred Claus (2007) and The Judge (2014) for David Dobkin; and The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Marley & Me (2008) and The Big Year (2011) for David Frankel.
Asked in a 2013 interview what skills a good editor must have, Livolsi said: “A sense of timing, an ability to see the small details while understanding the big picture, a clear storytelling sense, an eye for good performances and, above all, a love of movies and the craft of editing, without which no one would work this hard and sacrifice this much for very long.”
Recently, he spent a great deal of time at work with his only son, Mark Jr., who served as a production assistant on The Jungle Book and as an assistant visual effects coordinator on The Lion King.
He also is survived by his daughter, Madeleine.
Mark Allen Livolsi was born on April 10, 1962, in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania. His father, the late Charles Livolsi, was an illustrator and caricature artist for The Pittsburgh Press. As a youngster, he would make films with his neighborhood friends using his dad’s 8mm camera.
Livolsi attended Canon-McMillan High School in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and then Penn State University, from which he graduated with a degree in film in 1984. He got an early career break when he was hired as an apprentice sound editor on Seven Minutes in Heaven (1985).
Livolsi, who came to Los Angeles in 1994, was second assistant editor on Dead of Winter (1987) and an apprentice editor on Wall Street, then worked as an assistant to film editor Susan E. Morse on the Woody Allen films Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Alice (1990), Shadows and Fog (1991) and Deconstructing Harry (1997).
“He had the biggest heart of anyone I knew and was a true artist with his pure, authentic way of storytelling,” Hilarie Roope, who repped Livolsi for his entire career, told THR. “He was able to intuitively see the tiny little moments of the actors’ performances in the dailies and create real people. … Every single movie he cut was an extension of who he was within his soul, and that is why each and every movie he worked on was pure magic.”
In addition to his children and his wife — she and Livolsi married 33 years ago this month — survivors include his mother, Donna; and brother Timothy, his wife, Pam, and their children Timothy Jr., Lindsay and Ryan.
A memorial service will take place Friday at the Clayton and McGirr Funeral Home in Freehold, New Jersey.
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