Film Editor Frank Morriss Dies at 85

His credits include "Duel," "The Execution of Private Slovik," "Blue Thunder" and "Romancing the Stone."

Frank Morriss, an Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated film editor who deftly cut such features and telefilms as The Execution of Private Slovik, Duel, Blue Thunder and Romancing the Stone, has died. He was 85.

Morriss died July 3 at his home in Northridge, Calif., with Marlee, his wife of 47 years, at his side.

A frequent collaborator of director John Badham, Morriss captured two editing Emmys for the 1974 NBC telefilm The Execution of Private Slovik, starring Martin Sheen, and earned Oscar noms for his work on the action thrillers Blue Thunder (1983), from Badham, and Robert Zemeckis' Romancing the Stone (1984).

Morriss also edited Steven Spielberg's taut 1971 ABC telefilm Duel and Don Siegel's Charley Varrick (1973), starring Walter Matthau, for which the editor earned a BAFTA award.

Beginning with 1974 Emmy-winning NBC telefilm The Law, Morriss worked on about two dozen projects with Badham through 2004. They teamed on such films as Bird on a Wire (1990), starring Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn; The Hard Way (1991) with Michael J. Fox and James Woods; Point of No Return (1993) with Bridget Fonda; the Emilio Estevez comedy Another Stakeout (1993); Drop Zone (1994) starring Wesley Snipes; and Nick of Time (1995) with Johnny Depp.

Morriss began his career as a sound and music editor but turned to pictures in the 1960s and '70s and worked on such television series as Destry, It Takes a Thief, The Name of the Game and McCloud.

He co-edited Silent Life, a film starring director Vladislav Kozlov as movie legend Rudolph Valentino that has not yet been released.