Newt Arnold; Award-Winning Filmmaker


Newt Arnold, director and winner of the Directors Guild of America award for his work as first assistant director of the motion picture “The Godfather Part II,” has died of leukemia.

Arnold, who would have been 73 today, died Feb. 12 at his home in Encino, said his wife, Judy.

The filmmaker’s career spanned 45 years and ranged from acting in the 1983 film “Table for Five” among others, to writing for television’s “Bonanza” and other productions to directing motion pictures, television movies, miniseries and commercials.

He won another DGA award nomination for his work in “Twelve Angry Men” for television in 1997 and critical acclaim for his directing efforts on “Masada” and the miniseries “Peter the Great.”


A director in his own right for such films as “Bloodsport,” Arnold was perhaps even more sought after as a first assistant director, working with such legendary Hollywood helmsmen as Francis Ford Coppola, Blake Edwards, Sam Peckinpah, Carl Reiner and Steven Spielberg.

Among Arnold’s credits as first assistant over the past decade were the motion pictures “A Simple Plan,” “Jade,” “A Walk in the Clouds,” “Blue Chips” and “The Abyss.”

In earlier years, he was an assistant director on such films as “The Ballad of Josie,” “The Way West,” “The Devil’s Brigade” and “The Green Berets” directed by and starring John Wayne.

Born in Palo Alto, Calif., Arnold earned a bachelor’s degree at Stanford and won postgraduate scholarships to the Banff School of Fine Arts in Canada and the University of London. He earned a master’s degree at UCLA, producing a thesis that proved a toehold into the film industry.


Arnold was active in directors, writers and screen actors guilds and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In addition to his wife, Arnold is survived by their sons, Jonathan and Evan.

A memorial service is scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Directors Guild of America. The family has requested that any memorial donations be made to the National Cancer Institute, Building 31, Room 11A-16, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD. 20892.