Oscar-winner Peter Zinner dies | india | Hindustan Times
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Oscar-winner Peter Zinner dies

Peter Zinner, who worked as a film editor on the first two 'Godfather' films and won an Oscar for his work on 1978's 'The Deer Hunter', has died. He was 88.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2007 10:32 IST

Peter Zinner, who worked as a film editor on the first two 'Godfather' films and won an Oscar for his work on 1978's 'The Deer Hunter', has died. He was 88.

Zinner died on Tuesday at St John's Health Centre in Santa Monica of complications from an almost five-year battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, his daughter Katina Zinner said.

"He was a humble guy. If anyone wasn't full of the Hollywood junk, it was my dad," she told The Associated Press. "He lived life to the fullest. He was passionate on every level. We were the best of friends."

Born in 1919 in Vienna, Peter Zinner, who was Jewish, fled the Nazis with his family and moved to the Philippines in 1938. He arrived in Los Angeles in 1940 and "always wanted to be in film," said his daughter.

After working as a taxi driver and piano player in silent movie theatres, Zinner landed a job as an apprentice film editor at 20th Century Fox in the early 1940s.

In 1960, he quit MGM and started his own company with two other film editors, his daughter said.

It was Zinner's film editing work on Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 groundbreaking mob drama 'The Godfather' that earned him an Academy Award nomination with coeditor William Reynolds.

"Peter Zinner made a great contribution to 'The Godfather'," Coppola said in an e-mail to The AP through his publicist. "Working on the editing of the final (baptism) sequence, Peter had the inspiration to add the organ music that pulled the sequence together.