Friday, August 29, 2014

RIP Larry Heath

Lawrence Dillion Heath passed away on Saturday, August 16, 2014. He was born on November 14, 1925 in Bellrose, NY. His father worked in the silent film industry at the Vitagraph studios in Brooklyn and Astoria Studios in Queens. In 1935 the family moved permanently to Glendale, CA when his father began working at the Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank.
Larry graduated from Hoover High School in June of 1943. The Monday following graduation, Larry began working at the Warner Brothers Studios, first on the labor gang, then shortly thereafter in the Editing department shipping room. On his 18th birthday in November of 1943, Larry enlisted in the United States Army.
Larry was placed in the 69th Infantry Division and dispatched to the European theatre. Assigned to mortars and placed in the 271st Regiment, M Company, he fought in the ''Battle of the Bulge'' and participated in the Rhineland Campaign and Central Europe Campaign. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Infantryman's badge, in which he took great pride.
Returning home in May of 1946, Larry began working in the Editorial department of RKO studios in Hollywood, CA. On November 27, 1947 Larry married Raylene Spencer. They lived in Burbank, CA raising their six children.
While Larry's career began working on motion pictures, he transitioned into television and was a pioneer in the new industry. He became a sound editor on early television programs such as ''The Buster Keaton Show'' and ''Beulah'' with Hattie McDaniel. In the early 1950's, Larry became a member of the editorial staff on the ''Burns and Allen'' television show. Starting as an assistant film editor, he moved up to Sound Editor and then Film Editor. He became Editorial Department Head of the company (McCadden Productions), supervising the editing on the TV shows "Burns and Allen", "I married Joan", and "The Bob Cummings Show".
In Larry's editing career, he edited numerous television shows, pilots and feature films. In the 1960s he worked on "The Fugitive", "Gilligan's Island", and edited the feature film ''Billy Jack''. During the 1970's came "Rhoda" and "Angie". The 1980's brought him to Universal Studios where he completed his career editing "House Calls" and eight seasons of "Simon and Simon". Larry retired from the film industry in 1990.
Larry is survived by his wife of 66 years, Raylene; his daughter Mary Strawser, a retired School Teacher and School Administrator, and her husband Edward Strawser; his sons: Larry Jr., a Principal at McGrath elementary school in Newhall, CA, and his wife Laurie; Tim, a retired Insurance Executive, and his wife Donna; John, a Film Editor and TV Producer/Director, and his wife Patty; and David, an Editorial Department Head at Universal Studios, and his wife Bonnie. Larry was preceded in death by his fifth son Joseph, an Attorney in Long Beach, CA, who passed away in April of this year. Larry is survived by Joseph's widow Tricia Heath. Larry was also preceded in death by his granddaughter Brenda Heath and his daughter-in-law Diane Heath.
Larry's greatest pride was his family, including 15 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren, his Catholic faith, and his Irish Heritage.
On Saturday August 16, around 4 p.m., surrounded by his wife, his children and his grandchildren, the door of heaven was opened to Dad. Propelled by the love in his heart, Dad soared to his Beatific moment into the arms of Jesus and the Blessed Mother.
HEATH, Larry (Lawrence Dillon Heath)
Born: 11/14/1925, Bellerose, New Yotk, U.S.A.
Died: 8/16/2014, Santa Clarita, California, U.S.A.
Larry Heath’s western – film editor:
Dusty’s Trail (TV) – 1973-1974

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