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Voice Of The Crew - Since 2002

Los Angeles, California

David Tomblin

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David Tomblin, the English first assistant director who was considered second to none, passed away in early August at the age of 74. One of his greatest claims to popular fame was on The Prisoner, the surreal television series from 1967 which he helped conceive with his good friend Patrick McGoohan. He also wrote and directed several Prisoner episodes and directed episodes of Secret Agent Man, another McGoohan television hit.

“I think we was the greatest assistant director ever,” said Lee Cleary, the AD on the X-Men films, who was Tomblin’s second AD for 10 years. “Anywhere I went in the world, everyone from directors to grips would ask me whether I had heard anything from David lately, he was so highly revered.” Sir Richard Attenborough read the service at Tomblin’s funeral in Woburn, England. Tomblin was AD to a who’s who of directors. They included Robert Wise, Stanley Kubrick, Karel Reisz, Richard Attenborough, Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner, Sidney Pollack, Irvin Kershner, Frank Tashlin, John Guillermin and Terry Gilliam. He also was AD for actor-directors Sidney Poitier, Robert Redford, Gene Wilder and Mel Gibson, the last for Braveheart which won the Oscar for best film in 1995. Other films he was AD on included The Haunting (1963), Barry Lyndon (1975), The Omen (1976), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Superman (1978), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)—and its two sequels, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (1989)—Gandhi (1982) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989).

He died working on Final Horizon, yet to be released, which is a documentary with digital animation about the further reaches of the universe that is narrated by Steven Hawking and will be shown in the IMAX format. Tomblin had the honor of being the joint recipient of the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in 2003 from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts at BAFTA’s Orange Awards, the English equivalent of the Oscars.

Written by Jack Egan

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