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Warren W. Hamilton, Jr. (6 June 193317 August 2009; age 76) was an American sound effects editor who worked on over fifty films, including Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. He was member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a former president of Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild. [1]

Early life

Hamilton was born in Los Angeles, California. He began his career is show business as an actor, making uncredited appearances in such films as the 1955 drama Blackboard Jungle. This film also featured veteran actors John Hoyt and Richard Kiley, who both went on to appear in a Star Trek production.

Following a stunt in the United States Army, Hamilton earned a Bachelor of arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1960, he then became a story editor at Warner Bros., where he worked on such television series as 77 Sunset Strip, Bourbon Street Beat, and Cheyenne. He left Warner Bros. in 1962 to work on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, after which he began working for Walt Disney Television. [1]

In 1969, Hamilton co-wrote the short documentary film An Impression of John Steinbeck: Writer, which received an Academy Award nomination in the "Best Documentary, Short Subjects" category. [1] He continued writing films during the 1970s, including the 1974 blaxploitation action-drama Black Samson and the B-grade horror picture Kiss of the Tarantula.

Editing career

Hamilton began working as a sound editor in the 1970s; one of his earliest sound credits was the 1973 film The Black Bunch, which starred Michael Pataki. He also worked as a film editor, with credits such as Sweet Jesus, Preacherman (another film starring Michael Pataki) and Kiss of the Tarantula, which he also wrote. He returned to sound effects editing with another B-grade horror picture, 1977's Drive in Massacre.

It was in 1980 when Hamilton's career as a sound effects editor really began to pick up. Under the supervision of Richard L. Anderson, Hamilton worked with fellow Star Trek sound editors Stephen Hunter Flick and Mark Mangini on the 1980 science fiction adventure film The Final Countdown. Hamilton worked with Anderson on many more films over the next eighteen years, including Poltergeist (1982), Under Fire (1983), which starred Joanna Cassidy, Gremlins (1984), starring Zach Galligan, Keye Luke, and Dick Miller, The Goonies (1985), the Tim Burton features Beetle Juice (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), and Batman Returns (1992), Ron Howard's Apollo 13 (1995), Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995), which starred Christopher Lloyd, and Lethal Weapon 4 (1998). Some of these movies again had Hamilton working with Stephen Flick and/or Mark Mangini, as well as fellow Star Trek V sound editor John Dunn.

In addition to the aforementioned Gremlins, Hamilton edited the sound effects for several of director Joe Dante's other films, including Explorers (1985), Innerspace (1987), The 'burbs (1989), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), and Matinee (1993). All of these films featured Star Trek: Voyager regular Robert Picardo in the cast (among several other Star Trek performers) and they all had Hamilton working alongside Mark Mangini. Hamilton also worked on some of filmmaker John Carpenter's early 1980s hits, including Escape from New York (1981, which starred Kim Cattrall), Halloween II (1981), and The Thing (1982, which featured David Clennon). Escape from New York again had Hamilton working with Mangini.

Hamilton's other film credits during the 1980s included Repo Man (1984), The Hitcher (1986), La Bamba (1987), Alien Nation (1988), and The Good Mother (1988), the latter of which was directed by Leonard Nimoy. Hamilton also provided sound effects editing on the animated Disney film Oliver & Company (1988), which earned him Golden Reel Award. He later received two more Golden Reel Awards, one for his work on Disney's 1991 film Beauty and the Beast (which featured the voice of David Ogden Stiers) and another the 1994 action-adventure blockbuster Speed. [1] Other films he worked on during the 1990s include The Bodyguard (1992), City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994), Showgirls (1995), From Dusk Til Dawn (1996), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), Starship Troopers (1997), and Jackie Brown (1997).


Hamilton died of natural causes in Los Angeles on 17 August 2009. He was 76 years old. He was survived by a son, Craig, and a daughter, Jenene. [1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Saperstein, Pat; "Warren Hamilton dies at 76;" Variety, {{el|], 9 October 2009.

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