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Robert C. Jones

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert C. Jones
Robert Clifford Jones

(1936-03-30)March 30, 1936[1]
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedFebruary 1, 2021(2021-02-01) (aged 84)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
SpouseSylvia Hirsch Jones
ChildrenLeslie Jones
ParentHarmon Jones

Robert Clifford Jones (March 30, 1936 – February 1, 2021) was an American film editor, screenwriter, and educator. He received an Academy Award for the screenplay of the film Coming Home (1978). As an editor, Jones had notable collaborations with the directors Arthur Hiller (seven films from 1967 to 1992) and Hal Ashby (four films from 1973 to 1982).[2] Jones was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing: It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), and Bound for Glory (1976).

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Early life

Jones was born in Los Angeles on March 30, 1936.[3] His father, Harmon Jones, was a Canadian-born film editor who was nominated for an Oscar for his work on Gentleman's Agreement.[4][5] Jones enrolled in college, but subsequently dropped out and worked at a shipping room for 20th Century Fox.[6] He started off as an assistant film editor for movies like Untamed (1955) and The Long, Hot Summer (1958). He described his job as "magic", adding that it had "opened my eyes to what my dad had done".[4]

After being drafted into the U.S. Army,[7] Jones worked at the Army Pictorial Center from 1958 to 1960. Even though he did not attend film school or have any formal training in editing, he was thrust into the role of a film editor.[6] He was responsible for editing Army training films, documentaries, and several segments of The Big Picture television program.[8] He credits this stint for giving him the "experience and confidence" needed to pursue a career in film editing.[6]


Upon his return from military service, Jones collaborated with Gene Fowler Jr. to edit A Child Is Waiting and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (both released in 1963).[4] He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing for the latter film.[6] He then increased his editing credentials by working on The Tiger Makes Out (1967) and Paint Your Wagon (1969).[3] His work in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) earned him his second Oscar nomination for Best Film Editing.[4] Almost a decade elapsed before he received his third Academy Award editing nomination for the musical drama Bound for Glory (1976).[5]

Jones was also involved in writing film scripts.[5] He initially declined to work on Coming Home (1978) as editor when Hal Ashby asked him. However, he relented and joined as a screenwriter after Waldo Salt suffered a heart attack two months before the start of production.[4] That film ultimately won the 1979 Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, which he shared with Salt and Nancy Dowd.[3] Jones was surprised by the win and stated that going on stage to receive the award marked the first time he met Salt and Dowd.[4] He was then the co-screenwriter for Being There (1979), which his daughter said he rewrote.[6][5] Although he was originally granted credit by the studio (United ArtistsLorimar Productions),[4][6] the Writers Guild reversed that in an arbitration decision and awarded credit only to Jerzy Kosiński, the author of the book that the movie was based on.[6] Jones believed that his "writing career would have been a whole lot different if [he] had gotten screen credit" and that "it was a dark day in my life".[6] He consequently focused on editing for the remainder of his career.[4][5]

The final film Jones edited was Unconditional Love, released in 2002.[3] After retiring from the film industry, he became a professor at the School of Cinematic Arts of the University of Southern California (USC),[9] serving in that capacity for 15 years.[5][6] He was presented with the American Cinema Editors Career Achievement Award in February 2014.[10]

Personal life

Jones was married to Sylvia Hirsch Jones, a professor of psychology,[11] for 59 years until his death.[4] Together, they had two daughters: Hayley and Leslie, who followed her father's footsteps and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing.[11][12] She assisted Jones during the early part of her career on films like See No Evil, Hear No Evil and The Babe.[4]

Jones died on February 1, 2021, at his home in Los Angeles. He was 84, and suffered from Lewy body dementia in the time leading up to his death.[4][13]


Year Film Director Award Notes Ref.
1963 A Child Is Waiting John Cassavetes
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Stanley Kramer Nominated for Best Editing Oscar and for ACE Eddie First collaboration with Stanley Kramer
1964 Invitation to a Gunfighter Richard Wilson
1965 Ship of Fools Stanley Kramer Second collaboration with Stanley Kramer
1966 The Trouble with Angels Ida Lupino
Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title Harmon Jones
1967 Tobruk Arthur Hiller First collaboration with Arthur Hiller
The Tiger Makes Out Second collaboration with Arthur Hiller
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Stanley Kramer Nominated for Best Editing Oscar and for ACE Eddie Third collaboration with Stanley Kramer
1968 I Love You, Alice B. Toklas Hy Averback
1969 Paint Your Wagon Joshua Logan
1970 Love Story Arthur Hiller Third collaboration with Arthur Hiller
1971 Cisco Pike Bill L. Norton
1972 The New Centurions Richard Fleischer
Man of La Mancha Arthur Hiller Third collaboration with Arthur Hiller
1973 The Last Detail Hal Ashby First collaboration with Hal Ashby
1974 The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder Arthur Hiller Fourth collaboration with Arthur Hiller
1975 Shampoo Hal Ashby Second collaboration with Hal Ashby
1976 Bound for Glory Nominated for Best Editing Oscar Third collaboration with Hal Ashby
1978 Heaven Can Wait First collaboration with Warren Beatty
1982 Lookin' to Get Out Hal Ashby Sixth collaboration with Hal Ashby
1985 Twice in a Lifetime Bud Yorkin
1989 See No Evil, Hear No Evil Arthur Hiller Fifth collaboration with Arthur Hiller
1990 Days of Thunder Tony Scott
1991 Married to It Arthur Hiller Sixth collaboration with Arthur Hiller
1992 The Babe Seventh collaboration with Arthur Hiller
1993 Beyond the Law Larry Ferguson
1994 Love Affair Glenn Gordon Caron
1996 City Hall Harold Becker
1998 Bulworth Warren Beatty Second collaboration with Warren Beatty
1999 Crazy in Alabama Antonio Banderas
2002 Unconditional Love P. J. Hogan
Editorial department
Year Film Director Role Notes
1955 Untamed Henry King Apprentice editor
1958 The Long, Hot Summer Martin Ritt First assistant editor
1993 Indecent Proposal Adrian Lyne Additional film editor
Year Film Director Role
1982 Lookin' to Get Out Hal Ashby Special thanks: For being there
Year Film Director Award Notes Ref.
1978 Coming Home Hal Ashby Academy Award and Writers Guild Award for Best Screenplay Fourth collaboration with Hal Ashby
1979 Being There

Fifth collaboration with Hal Ashby
TV movies
Additional crew
Year Film Director Role
1986 Picnic Marshall W. Mason Technical director
TV series
Year Title Notes
1984 Faerie Tale Theatre 2 episodes
TV specials
Year Title Role
2021 93rd Academy Awards In memoriam

Academy Awards

Year[A] Category Work Result Ref.
1964 Best Film Editing It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Nominated [17]
1968 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Nominated [18]
1977 Bound for Glory Nominated [19]
1979 Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Coming Home Won [20]

See also


  1. ^ Indicates the year of the ceremony.


  1. ^ "California Birth Index, 1905–1995". FamilySearch. November 27, 2014. Robert Clifford Jones, March 30, 1936; citing Los Angeles, California, United States, Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento.
  2. ^ "Robert C. Jones Filmography". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2015. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Del Rosario, Alexandra (February 6, 2021). "Robert C. Jones Dies: Oscar-Winning 'Coming Home' Scribe Was 84". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Barnes, Mike (February 6, 2021). "Robert C. Jones, 'Love Story' Film Editor and Oscar-Winning 'Coming Home' Screenwriter, Dies at 84". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Oganesyan, Natalie (February 6, 2021). "Robert C. Jones, Esteemed Film Editor and Oscar-Winning 'Coming Home' Screenwriter, Dies at 84". Variety. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Faughnder, Ryan (February 6, 2021). "Robert C. Jones, Oscar-winning screenwriter of 'Coming Home,' dies at 84". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  7. ^ Robert C. Jones: 2014 ACE Career Achievement Award Honoree. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  8. ^ Jones, Robert C. (2004). "Robert C. Jones". Archived from the original on April 5, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
  9. ^ "Robert Jones". University of Southern California. Archived from the original on February 24, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2008.
  10. ^ Seikaly, Andrea (February 4, 2014). "ACE Eddie Awards: Career Honoree Robert C. Jones's Career of Happy Accidents". Variety.
  11. ^ a b "Production Perks: An Evening with Robert Jones". USC School of Cinematic Arts. University of Southern California. January 31, 2012. Archived from the original on November 26, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  12. ^ Archerd, Army (February 24, 1999). "Grammys take center stage". Variety. Retrieved August 29, 2008. Leslie Jones received an Oscar nom this year for editing "The Thin Red Line," while her father, Robert C. Jones, received a nomination for editing for "It's A Mad (4) World" in 1963 and her grandfather, Harmon Jones, received the same nomination on "A Gentleman's Agreement" in 1947.
  13. ^ Daley, Elizabeth (February 3, 2021). "Remembering Esteemed SCA Professor Robert C. Jones". University of Southern California.
  14. ^ a b c d "Robert C. Jones". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  15. ^ a b c "Robert C. Jones". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 3, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae "Robert C. Jones". American Film Institute. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  17. ^ "The 36th Academy Awards – 1964". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  18. ^ "The 40th Academy Awards – 1968". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  19. ^ "The 49th Academy Awards – 1977". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  20. ^ "The 51st Academy Awards – 1979". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved February 7, 2021.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 3 May 2024, at 17:01
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