Josef von Stroheim, 79; Film, TV Sound Editor


Josef Erich von Stroheim, an award-winning motion picture and television sound editor who was also the son of the legendary silent film director Erich von Stroheim, has died. He was 79.

Von Stroheim died March 22 at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys of complications from lung cancer.

Among Von Stroheim’s motion picture credits are “Day of the Dolphin,” “Carnal Knowledge,” “Blume in Love,” “Jeremiah Johnson,” “The Getaway,” “A Star Is Born,” “Three Days of the Condor” and “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”

He also worked on numerous television shows, including “The Cisco Kid,” “Range Rider,” “Wild Bill Hickock” “The Real McCoys,” “The Untouchables,” “Flipper,” “Mannix,” “Wonder Woman” and “Scarecrow and Mrs. King.”


Von Stroheim was born in Los Angeles in 1922 and grew up in Bel-Air. He entered the motion picture business in 1939 as a still photographer in the MGM publicity department, often riding to work in the morning with Clark Gable.

But from shooting stars, Von Stroheim’s career took a dramatic detour during World War II. After enlisting in the Army in 1942, he served as a combat photographer in Europe and later the South Pacific. At war’s end he was in Tokyo, where his subjects included Japanese Gen. Hideki Tojo, who was later executed for war crimes.

Although the work of combat photographers has been used in countless documentaries and history books, they rarely receive credit beyond the standard “Army Pictorial Services.”

Von Stroheim was a member of the International Combat Camera Assn., part of whose mission is to lobby film companies for individual attribution and to arrange museum exhibits to raise combat photographers’ public profile.


As a sound editor, Von Stroheim won two Emmys for his work (“QB VII” and “The Immortal”) and five Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards, including for “The Getaway,” “Three Days of the Condor” and television’s “The Untouchables” and “Mission Impossible.”

Von Stroheim, who retired in 1988, was a longtime member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild board.

“He was one of the top sound editors in the business,” said Stanley Frazen, former guild president.

Von Stroheim is survived by his wife, Harriet; daughters Lori vS Manz of Las Vegas and Vicki von Stroheim-Seay of Honolulu; and two grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at noon today at Pierce Bros. Valhalla Mortuary in North Hollywood.