Tarantino's film editor dies on hiking trip in LA heatwave

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The Independent Online

Quentin Tarantino's closest collaborator in film-making has been found dead in the Hollywood Hills during a record hot spell in Los Angeles.

Sally JoAnne Menke, 56, was on a hiking expedition, and is thought to have died from heat stroke. Ms Menke, who had a history of seizures, was found yesterday with her labrador retriever standing near her body. Investigators believe she died of hyperthermia on Monday, when downtown Los Angeles was on its way to a record high of 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ms Menke had edited every Tarantino film from Reservoir Dogs in 1992 to last year's Inglourious Basterds, for which she received an Oscar nomination. Tarantino once described her as "hands down my number one collaborator". Last year, she wrote of how her working relationship with the director began on a hiking trip when she learned that she had been hired to work on Reservoir Dogs.

On a remote hillside in Banff, Canada, she spotted a phone box and called to find out whether she had the job. "They confirmed I'd got the gig," she wrote. "I let out a yell that echoed round the mountain."

Her widower, Dean Parisot, said that Ms Menke "was truly proud of two things in her life – above all her family, especially her children, and also her work, particularly her long collaboration with Quentin Tarantino". Ms Menke also worked with other acclaimed filmmakers, including Oliver Stone and Billy Bob Thornton.

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