Tom Rolf dead: Oscar winning film editor renowned for space epic The Right Stuff and Taxi Driver dies aged 83

His four-decade career saw him add his touch to over 40 movies

Tom Rolf, the Oscar-winning film editor of The Right Stuff, Taxi Driver and The Horse Whisperer, has died aged 83.

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1931, he first worked as a seaman for the Norwegian Merchant Marine and a ski patrolman before he headed to the United States to pursue his ambitions in the entertainment industry.

He entered into film editing with the eventual desire to move into directing, but he stayed in the role throughout his four-decade career, which saw him add his touch to over 40 movies.

He achieved a BAFTA nomination for his work on Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, and picked up the Academy Award for space epic The Right Stuff.

He also won a career achievement award from the American Cinema Editors in 2003.


Rolf was twice the president of the American Cinema Editors (ACE), and a governor American Cinema Editors (ACE) – a position he held for 15 years.

In 2010, he told the Hollywood Reporter that the film Jacob’s Ladder, directed by Adrian Lyne in 1990 and starring Tim Robbins, had been the project he’d most enjoyed working on.

"I so admire Adrian Lyne for trying to do it," Rolf said. "It was sold as a horror picture, which it was not. It was a psychological thriller. I think had it been marketed that way, it would have done much better.

"I'm very proud of that one.

"My job is to help the director realise his vision.

"I think people hire me because they know that I'm going to put in a full day, I'm going to tell them the truth, and I'll voice my opinion when I think it's needed."