Sally Menke RIP

Tarantino's acclaimed editor dies at 56

Some shocking and unhappy news for anyone who loves Quentin Tarantino’s work arrived out of Los Angeles today: Sally Menke, his great friend and the woman who edited all of his films from Reservoir Dogs to last year’s Inglourious Basterds, has been found dead at the age of 56.

Menke, who started her professional career editing the Griffin Dunne-starrer Cold Feet in 1983 and, oddly, the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie in 1990, first met Tarantino when he was looking for an editor to work on Dogs. His main requirement was that whoever got the job would work cheap, but the pair clicked instantly as creative soulmates.

"We don't work at the studios. Quentin insists on renting little private houses in LA and converting them into edit suites for the duration,” she told Purple Revolver about their collaborations. "It's very civilised and enabled me to work through both my pregnancies – yes, my babies had Tarantino movies played to them in the womb, but they seem to have turned out OK.”

On her profession, she was happy to remain largely in the background: “Editors are the quiet heroes of movies and I like it that way. We have a very private relationship with our directors, mostly conducted in very dark rooms.” But her work with Tarantino saw her become more famous than most of those in her profession, and she also scored two Oscar nominations, for Pulp Fiction and Basterds.

The LA Times reports she went hiking with her dog in Beachwood Canyon on Monday, and was discovered dead early on Tuesday morning. While Los Angeles has been experiencing a severe heat wave, the cause of her death isn’t yet known.