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Oscar-winning film editor Anne V. Coates (Lawrence of Arabia) dies, aged 92

Anne V. Coates, the Oscar-winning editor of hit movies Lawrence of Arabia, Erin Brokovich, The Elephant Man and Murder on the Orient Express, has passed away at the age of 92.

9th May 2018
/ By Andrew Wooding


The British editor received five Academy Award nominations for her work, winning for David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia in 1962, making her the first female editor to win an Oscar.

Angela Allen, a legendary script supervisor, said Coates passed away on Tuesday (May 8) at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, US.

BAFTA tweeted: "We're so sad to learn that British film editor Anne V. Coates has died. 

"During her incredible career, Anne was BAFTA-nominated four times for work including The Elephant Man and Erin Brockovich, and received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2007.

"She will be greatly missed."

Coates was born in Reigate, Surrey, on December 12, 1925, and after falling in love with film on seeing William Wyler's Wuthering Heights, the budding filmmaker was offered a job running projections, sound and editing with her film tycoon uncle J. Arthur Rank.

The talented editor was married to British film director Douglas Hickox who helmed films including Brannigan, Zulu Dawn and The Hound of the Baskervilles and was awarded an O.B.E. in 2003.

She is survived by her two director sons Anthony Hickox and James Hickox, and film editor daughter Emma E. Hickox.

Emma said in a statement: "Daughter, sister, mother, grandmother – INSPIRATION! You rocked the world and I am sure you are rocking the spirit world!

"Rest In Peace. You are deeply loved. And will be greatly missed.

"Your choice to fade to black was the perfect end to a wonderful life! <3"

Coates was responsible for one of the most famous match cuts of all time in Lawrence of Arabia, which saw lead actor Peter O'Toole blow out a match as the scene changed to a desert sunrise.

Her most recent work was on the film adaptation of E. L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey.