Pasquale Buba, a film editor on Day of the Dead and several other efforts from the zombie movie maestro George A. Romero, died Wednesday of cancer at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced. He was 72.
A proud son of Pittsburgh, Buba cut the Steel City-set thriller Striking Distance (1993), starring Bruce Willis and Sarah Jessica Parker, and worked on Michael Mann’s Heat (1995), starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and The Brave (1997), directed by Johnny Depp and starring Depp and Marlon Brando.
Buba also collaborated with Pacino the director on Looking for Richard (1996) — for which he received an Eddie Award from the American Cinema Editors — Wilde Salome (2011) and Salome (2013).
In addition to Day of the Dead (1985), Buba edited Romero’s work on Knightriders (1981), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988), Two Evil Eyes (1990) and The Dark Half (1993) and appeared in small roles for the director in Dawn of the Dead and Martin, both released in 1978.
He also edited the cult thriller Effects (1980) and two other films from Striking Distance helmer Rowdy Herrington: I Witness (2003) and Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius (2004).
Born on April 16, 1946, in Braddock, Pennsylvania, Buba played the clarinet and attended Carnegie Mellon University on a full music scholarship. As an intern at WQED-TV in Pittsburgh, he honed his editing skills on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and other PBS projects.
Survivors include his wife Zilla, whom he first met at WQED; his brother Tony, who worked for Romero as a sound man; sisters-in-law Ozzie and Jan; brother-in-law Joe; and nieces Kelly and Jody.
Donations in his memory can be made to the American Civil Liberties Union or any animal shelter.