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Obituaries

Robert Shugrue; Emmy-Winning Film Editor

December 04, 1999|MYRNA OLIVER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Robert F. Shugrue, Emmy-winning film editor and member of a multi-generational entertainment industry family, has died of heart failure at the age of 62.

Shugrue, who died Nov. 27 in Los Angeles, had undergone open heart surgery last April, according to his son-in-law, film editor Scot Scalise.

Before his health forced him to retire, Shugrue had edited about four dozen films, primarily for television. Included in his large body of work were the television miniseries "A Woman Called Golda," which earned him an Emmy in 1983, and three other films that received Emmy nominations--"The Neon Ceiling" in 1971, "The Thorn Birds Part 1" in 1984 and Stephen King's "It" in 1991.

Born in Santa Monica, Shugrue was the son of Frank Shugrue, an MGM still photographer, and Phyllis Harper, longtime administrative assistant for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Art Directors. He was also the grandson of Tom Shugrue, an MGM studio electrician, and the brother of NBC news cameraman Michael Shugrue.

He passed on the industry dedication to two of his children, Scalise's wife, Nicole, who is executive director of feature post production at Fox Searchlight, and one son, Robert Jr., who is also a film editor.

The late editor began his career in 1956 as staff apprentice editor at Universal Television's Revue Studios, working on such television series as "The Millionaire," "Leave It to Beaver" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." He earned early editing credits for episodes of "Kojak," "Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law" and Rod Serling's 1966 television movie "Doomsday Flight."

Shugrue worked on key motion pictures in his early career, including "Death of a Gunfighter," starring Richard Widmark and Lena Horne, in 1969 and "Two Mules for Sister Sara," starring Clint Eastwood and Shirley MacLaine, in 1970.

His editing for the large screen stretched into the 1990s with "The Fourth War" and "Street Fighter," and included the 1980 "Raise the Titanic" and in 1984 "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock."

But Shugrue did most of his work in television, specializing in movies and an occasional miniseries. His resume included "Stonestreet: Who Killed the Centerfold Model?," "Centennial," "Princess Daisy," "The Jesse Owens Story," "Elvis and Me," "And the Sea Will Tell," "Never Say Never: The Deidre Hall Story" and the 1996 "Born Free: A New Adventure."

His survivors also include his son David, and three grandsons.

The family has asked that memorial donations be made to the American Heart Assn., the Motion Picture and Television Fund or to the Humane Society.

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