Arthur Schmidt

Obituary of Arthur Robert Schmidt

Arthur “Artie” R. Schmidt (June 17, 1937 - August 5, 2023) 

Artie Schmidt died suddenly and peacefully at his home in Santa Barbara. He was 86. Artie was born in Hollywood, California and the rest is cinema history. 


He was a cherished husband, a loving uncle, a devoted son and brother, and a dear friend to many. His warm smile and kindhearted nature endeared him to all who were fortunate enough to know him. 

Artie was a skilled film editor, following in the footsteps of his father, Arthur P. Schmidt. In 1965, Artie was in Spain when his father died. He returned to Los Angeles for the funeral. A few months later, wondering what he would do for employment, two of his father’s film assistants offered him an apprenticeship. And so began the early years of learning the trade. 



Throughout his remarkable 30+ year career, Artie's unparalleled talent graced the silver screen, and his work touched the hearts of countless moviegoers worldwide. He was a two-time Academy Award winner for Film Editing of the Robert Zemeckis films: “Forrest Gump” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” He had a long collaboration with Zemeckis to include the “Back to the Future” trilogy, “Cast Away,” and “Contact.” Artie also worked with director Mike Nichols editing “The Birdcage” and “Primary Colors.” Other notable films he edited included “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” for which he was nominated for an Oscar, “Last of the Mohicans,” “Addams Family Values,” “Death Becomes Her.” He was brought in to help edit “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” His editing of the TV movie, “The Jericho Mile” earned him an Emmy for Best Editing. In 2009, he was presented a Career Achievement Award by the American Cinema Association. (ACE). 


Artie never forgot his early struggles in the film industry and those who mentored him in his early years, to include film editors Dede Allen and Jim Clarke. Artie continued that trend by mentoring and encouraging many young aspiring filmmakers, wherever he met them – in the editing room, at film schools or film festivals.  

Comments from those people he met and worked with include: 


“Your story will live on through your special talent and ever-present humanity.” 

Christopher Brown. 


“Your were one of a kind. Humble and kind.” 

Ron Tucker, Beaufort International Film Festival. 


He “was incredibly talented and a joy to work with. He was a true gentleman and I am honored to have known him and to have created what we did together.” 

Director Robert Zemeckis 


Although his filmography is lengthy and significant, his family, friends, collaborators, and fans he met, will remember him for his kindness, warmth, and genuine humanness.  His dry wit could get an out loud laugh in a tense editing room or over a shared meal with colleagues and family. 


Artie and his wife, Susan, shared a love of travel, especially to Italy, loved the arts and the opera. He and his wife supported Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West, as well as the LA Opera. 


For almost 25 years, he loved hosting his large family at his home for Thanksgiving.  He was a great cook, whose meals were to be remembered for their panache and originality. He was always coming up with new dishes, especially salads. 


A strong believer in the benefits of a good education, Artie supported his high school, Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks, with scholarships, and his alma mater, Santa Clara University with his time and film expertise.  


He is survived by his beloved wife, Susan, his brothers, Fr. Ron Schmidt, and Gregory Schmidt, 4 nieces and 4 nephews, and numerous cousins and family members. His sister, Madeline Martin, predeceased him on February 19, 2023. 


As we bid farewell to Artie, we find solace in the indelible mark he left on the world of cinema and in the countless memories that we shared with him. He is dearly missed by his family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched. 

Rest in peace, dear Artie. We love you. 


Memorial Service 

Sat., August 26, 2023 11:00AM 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church,  

1300 E Valley Rd 

Santa  Barbara, CA 93108 


Reception to follow. 

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Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, August 26, 2023
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
1300 E Valley Road
Santa Barbara, California, United States
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