Anne V. Coates

1925 – 2018

Anne Coates is best known as the editor of David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, for which she won an Oscar. Techniques she devised for that film revolutionized editing. Coates got four other Oscar nominations (for Becket, The Elephant Man, In the Line of Fire and Out of Sight). At age 90, she co-edited Fifty Shades of Grey with Lisa Gunning and Debra Neil-Fisher. Coates was awarded BAFTA’s highest honor, a BAFTA Fellowship, as well as winning a Career Achievement Award from both ACE and the Los Angeles Film Critics. In 2016, Coates won an Academy Honorary Award (often called the Honorary Oscar), making her the second picture editor in the history of the award to win one. To quote the Academy, “In her more than 60 years as a film editor, she has worked side by side with many leading directors on an impressive range of films.” The first winner was also a woman, Margaret Booth, in 1977.

Anne V. Coates (above, seated at right) makes a cameo appearance as one of Howard Hughes’ editors in a scene from Scorsese’s The Aviator. The film was edited by Thelma Schoonmaker, who won another Oscar for it—her third.