Robert S. Birchard 1950-2016
By Jerry Beck
May 30, 2016
Sad news. At 5:20 am this morning, animation film editor, film historian and good friend Bob Birchard passed away.
A beloved member of the Disney Television Animation crew (as editor of numerous shows and movies, including Disney’s well known Ducktales, and Gummi Bears), Bob was also a well-known film historian, the author of numerous books and articles on early American movies, silent film and Hollywood history. He was also and President of Hollywood’s long-running annual movie-buff conclave, Cinecon.
His close friend Stan Taffel posted this notice on his Facebook page: “(Bob) passed away this morning after complications from a heart attack. He went quietly and without pain. His last hours were spent in the company of his brother Paul, girlfriend Denise and his close friends, Suzanne Lloyd, Steve Hulett, Deva and Stan Taffel. Bob meant so many different things to so many people and his gentle good humor and tireless spirit will be greatly missed by all of us.”
Bob was a thorough researcher and an excellent writer. He wrote several acclaimed books including one on Cecil B. Demille and another on Tom Mix. He also wrote articles on movie history for publications ranging from American Cinematographer to Westways; and was a contributing writer to many anthology volumes – including Hollywood Corral – and appeared on many documentaries (MGM: When The Lion Roars) as a leading Hollywood expert.
He was also a good friend who I would run into, at least once-a-month, when he would attend my film regular screenings at the Janet Klein show in Hollywood; or I would see him at the Margaret Herrick library researching an article or new book; or at a classic movie showing at the Academy, LACMA, The Egyptian or Aero. Bob was a ubiquitous figure in the Los Angeles movie buff scene. He left a large contribution to his chosen field. He will be sorely missed.
BIRCHARD, Robert S. (Robert Stewart Birchard)
Born: 1/21/1950, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 5/30/2016, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Robert S. Birchard’s westerns – projectionist, sound editor:
The Shootist – 1976 [dailies projectionist]
Windwalker – 1980 [sound editor]