• Monday, Aug. 26, 2019
In Memoriam: Editor, industry pioneer and mentor Jerry Bender
Jerry Bender editing at WPIX- TV in 1953 (photo courtesy of the Bender family)
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Charles “Jerry” Bender, a Madison Avenue film editor and industry pioneer, died peacefully at his home recently at the age of 89.

A founding member of Film Editors Guild, Local 771, Bender entered the film industry as a can carrier at WPIX-TV after high school graduation in 1948 and became an assistant editor in 1949. By 1951 Bender was cutting news and specials at CBS where he worked with Edward R. Murrow, Charles Collingwood, Andy Rooney, John Houseman and Walter Cronkite on the Peabody Award winning show, You Are There. After CBS, Bender freelanced at Screen Gems. 

In 1972 Bender opened his own shop, Bender Editorial, with successful ad campaigns for Eastern Airlines, Pan Am, Merrill Lynch, KFC, Volvo, Hyundai, Coca Cola, and the famous Dr. Pepper “Godzilla” spot. In October of 1983 Bender edited the music video “Say, Say, Say” featuring Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. 

As the owner and operator of Bender Editorial, Bender mentored future generations of editors including Hank Corwin and Craig Warnick, and Spot Welders’ managing partner/co-founder David Glean. 

Lost Planet studio’s Corwin, a two-time Academy Award nominee--for The Big Short and Vice--cited Bender’s importance earlier this year in SHOOT’s The Road To Oscar series. Corwin recalled, “Another commercial editor who influenced me greatly was a guy I worked for, Jerry Bender (Bender Editorial).” Corwin went on to describe Bender’s work as “fantastic and fearless.”

In 1994 Bender was the first inductee into the AICE Editors Hall of Fame. His upright Moviola included a rear view mirror so he could see clients reactions when showing a cut.

Bender was remembered for his great sense of humor and industry one liners such as: “Life is a series of revisions”; and “You’ll know you have the job when the dailies are on the table.

Beloved husband, father, brother, and  grandfather, Bender is survived by his wife Elizabeth, his children Beth, Te-see and Charly, and grandchildren Paolo, August, Ella, and Charles III.

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