Alan Robert Murray Cause of Death: Covid-19 Claims the Life of a Legendary Sound Editor

Alan Robert Murray, a two-time Oscar-winning sound editor who worked on more than 100 films, including many directed by Clint Eastwood, died on February 24, 2021 at the age of 66. His family confirmed his death to Warner Bros. Sound, where he had been based since 1979. The cause of death was Covid-19, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

A Career Spanning Four Decades

Murray began his career in the 1970s at Paramount, where he was mentored by Howard Beals, who worked with filmmakers from Cecil B. DeMille to Francis Ford Coppola. He worked on films such as The Warriors (1979), Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), Fatal Attraction (1987), Die Hard 2 (1990), New Jack City (1991), and Fried Green Tomatoes (1991).

He also collaborated with Richard Donner on several films, earning his first two Oscar nominations for Ladyhawke (1985) and Lethal Weapon 2 (1989).

A Longtime Collaborator with Clint Eastwood

Murray’s most frequent and fruitful partnership was with Clint Eastwood, whom he worked with on 32 films, from Escape From Alcatraz (1979) to Richard Jewell (2019). He also worked on several other movies that Eastwood produced and/or starred in, such as Any Which Way You Can (1980), Tightrope (1984), The Dead Pool (1988), and Trouble With the Curve (2012).

Murray won his first Oscar for Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), a companion piece to Flags of Our Fathers (2006), for which he also received a nomination. He won his second Oscar for American Sniper (2014), a biopic of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. He also received nominations for Space Cowboys (2000), Eraser (1996), Sicario (2015), and Sully (2016).

Murray praised Eastwood for his respect and trust in the artists he worked with. “He has always been one who lets the artists bring what they can to the table,” Murray said backstage at the Oscars after his win for American Sniper. “He gives you specific notes but lets you create on your own. And he respects the artists on his crew.”

A Record-Breaking Sound Editor

Murray set a sound editing record with his 10th career Academy Award nomination for Joker (2019), directed by Todd Phillips. He also helped Bradley Cooper with his directorial debut on A Star Is Born (2018), after meeting him on American Sniper.

Murray’s last completed project was For Those Who Wish Me Dead, directed by Taylor Sheridan and starring Angelina Jolie, which is scheduled for release in 2021.

Murray is survived by his wife, Debbie, and three children, Blu Murray, Kevin R.W. Murray, and Hailey Murray, all of whom work in the film industry.

A Tribute from Warner Bros. and Yellowstone

Kim Waugh, an executive with Warner Bros. Sound, issued a statement expressing the studio’s grief over Murray’s loss. “His contributions to film sound and his presence within the postproduction community will be honored for many decades to come,” Waugh said. “Alan will live in our hearts for eternity.”

Doms Desk

Leave a Comment