Francis D. Lyon; Oscar-Winning Film Editor


Francis D. “Pete” Lyon, a pioneering Academy Award-winning film editor and a director of motion pictures and television shows, has died. He was 91.

Lyon died Oct. 8 in Green Valley, Ariz., where he had retired in 1980.

His Oscar for “Body and Soul” in 1947, shared with the late Robert Parrish, capped Lyon’s long career as a film editor in England and Hollywood. He also edited scenes from Ingrid Bergman’s first American film, the classic “Intermezzo.”

Lyon, who edited such films as “The Great Profile” and “Knight Without Armor,” was elected by his colleagues as president of the American Cinema Editors.


The versatile Lyon described his route through Hollywood from the silent era to talkies and television in his autobiography, “Twists of Fate: An Oscar Winner’s International Career,” published in 1993. Typical of his philanthropy and mentoring of Hollywood newcomers, Lyon donated proceeds from the book to scholarships for aspiring motion picture editors, directors and producers.

Lyon, who was born in Bow Bells, N.D., but grew up in Los Angeles, attended Hollywood High School and earned an arts degree from UCLA.

After taking odd jobs at studios during college, he was hired as a bookkeeper at Paramount. Transferred to the editing department, he edited the silent films of Max Sennett and Hal Roach.

During World War II, Lyon became chief editor for the Army Signal Corps, working on films for the Office of War Information.

In the early 1950s, he moved into directing--turning out such adventure films as “The Cult of the Cobra” and “The Great Locomotive Chase” for Disney.

Lyon also directed episodes of popular television shows, including “Perry Mason,” “Death Valley Days” and “Adventures in Paradise.” He later formed his own production company.

Survivors include his wife, Anne, and a brother, Sumner.

The family has asked that any memorial donations be made to the Phi Delta Theta Foundation, 2 S. Campus Ave., Oxford, Ohio 45056, or the Green Valley Carondolet Hospice, 1802 W. St. Mary’s Road, Tucson, Ariz. 85745.