Tom Joyner, who served as First Assistant Director on Steven Spielberg‘s Jaws, died last month following a long battle with cancer and heart disease, reports Deadline. He was 79.
Joyner began his career in the film industry in 1969 when he was accepted into the DGA’s program for assistant director. He got his start as a Second A.D. on Spielberg’s Sugarland Express and Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter before being bumped up to First A.D. on Jaws and Eastwood’s Bronco Billy.
Joyner then went on to serve as Unit Production Manager on movies such as John Landis‘ The Blues Brothers, John Carpenter‘s Starman, and Bruce Beresford‘s Tender Mercies. He later took jobs at Walt Disney Pictures and Warner Bros., where he was Executive Production Manager from 1985-1987 and VP of Feature Production from 1990 to 1996, respectively.
Between 1984 and 2012, Joyner served 13 terms on the DGA’s Western AD/UPM Council, including serving as Second Vice Chair from 1991-1992 and Council Chair from 1996-1997. He also served three terms as an Associate or Second Alternate on the DGA National Board, and he was a member of the 1973, 1999, and 2008 Negotiating Committees.
In recognition of his career achievements and service to the guild, the DGA gave Joyner its Frank Capra Award in 1999.