Thomas Stanford, Oscar-Winning Film Editor on 'West Side Story,' Dies at 93

West Side Story (1961) - Rita Moreno  -Photofest -H 2017
United Artists/Photofest

He also worked on features including 'Suddenly, Last Summer, 'Hell in the Pacific' and 'Jeremiah Johnson.'

Film editor Thomas Stanford, who won an Academy Award for his work on West Side Story, died Saturday, his family reported. He was 93.

Stanford collaborated with director Sydney Pollack on three films — The Slender Thread (1965), Jeremiah Johnson (1972) and The Yakuza (1974) — and with helmer Mark Rydell on two: The Fox (1967) and The Reivers (1969).

Born in Germany and educated in Switzerland and England, Stanford received his first editor credit on Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Suddenly, Last Summer (1959).

He later worked on movies including In the Cool of the Day (1963), Emil and the Detectives (1964), The Truth About Spring (1965), Don't Make Waves (1967), Hell in the Pacific (1968), The Steagle (1971), The Onion Field (1979), The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981) and Split Decisions (1988).

Presenters Angie Dickinson and Rod Taylor announced Stanford's Oscar triumph at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in April 1962.

Stanford had lived since 1987 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, his family said. Survivors include his partner Sherry Bendickson, his daughter Nina, her husband Brendt and their children Julian and Denis, and his son Adam and wife Lyn.

In addition to film editing, West Side Story (1961) won in nine other Oscar categories: best picture (Robert Wise), director (Wise and Jerome Robbins), supporting actress (Rita Moreno), supporting actor (George Chakiris), color cinematography (Daniel Fapp), color art direction/set decoration (Boris Leven, Victor Gangelin), color costume design (Irene Sharaff), sound (Fred Hynes and Gordon Sawyer) and music (Saul Chaplin, Johnny Green, Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal).

The lone West Side Story nominee who did not prevail was Ernest Lehman, who lost out to Abby Mann (Judgment at Nuremberg) for the adapted screenplay prize.