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Sat Aug 3 09:08:49 MDT 2002
Harry Gerstad, 93; Film Editor Won 2 Academy Awards
By MYRNA OLIVER
Los Angeles TIMES STAFF WRITER
July 31 2002
Harry Gerstad, Academy Award-winning film editor for the
1949 prizefighting classic "Champion" starring Kirk Douglas
and the 1952 Western epic "High Noon" starring Gary Cooper,
has died. He was 93.
Gerstad, whose Hollywood career spanned more than four
decades, died July 17 of natural causes in Palm Springs,
where he had lived in retirement since 1973.
In addition to his Oscars, Gerstad shared with film editor
Fred Berger the American Cinema Editors Career Achievements
Awards in 1997.
Gerstad was also nominated for an ACE Eddie Award for the
television series "High Chaparral" in 1968.
Gerstad, who moved to Hollywood with his father, a
cameraman, in 1910, began his career in 1929, working for
the Hal Roach Studios laboratory, the Warner Bros. lab and
He worked extensively with director Edward Dmytryk when he
began editing feature films in the late 1940s, and often
attributed his early success to Dmytryk. Among Gerstad's
films with the director were RKO's 1947 examination of
bigotry, "Crossfire," starring Robert Young and Robert
Gerstad worked with another influential editor, Stanley
Kramer, at Columbia Pictures on such features as "Home of
the Brave" in 1949; "Cyrano de Bergerac" in 1950 and "Death
of a Salesman" in 1951.
He shared the "High Noon" editing Oscar with Elmo Williams.
As television developed in the 1950s and 1960s, Gerstad
moved easily between the small and large screens, often in
related projects. One of those was the 1951-57 TV series
"The Adventures of Superman," starring George Reeves, and
feature films made from the television episodes.
Gerstad also edited the early TV series "Highway Patrol,"
starring Broderick Crawford, and "Ben Casey," starring Vince
Edwards and Sam Jaffe.
Among the nearly 40 feature films Gerstad edited were "The
Spiral Staircase" in 1946, "Combat Squad" in 1953, "Five
Gates to Hell" and "Here Come the Jets" in 1959, "Walk on
the Wild Side" in 1962, "Batman" in 1966, "The Secret Life
of an American Wife" in 1968, "Big Jake" in 1971 and
"Walking Tall" in 1973. His final feature editing credit was
for "Framed," released in 1975.
>From the mid-1960s until his retirement, Gerstad worked for
Bing Crosby Productions, Fox and John Wayne's Batjac
He is survived by his wife, Jody. A celebration of his life
will be scheduled for November.
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