Mark Bortles

Mark Bortles
January 2, 1928 -October 30, 2005

Mark Bortles passed away on October 30, 2005 as the result of a massive cerebral hemorrhage.

He had a long history in the television and film industry. In the 1960s, Bortles was a program film editor and the only commercial film librarian for KCBS in Los Angeles. In the early ‘80s, he worked on a number of independent projects, often as an ADR editor. In 1986, he joined Twentieth Century Fox as its stock footage librarian and remained there for 15 years before retiring.

Bortles was a natural as an industry librarian, having an almost photographic memory and a broad knowledge of cinema history. Stock footage is a crucial element in television and film production personnel and fellow librarians were often amazed when he instantly knew exactly where to go for the ideal shot that a project needed.

One of Bortles’ proudest achievements was his research and contributions to Fox/Star/Van Ness Productions’ Biography series for the A&E cable network. This was a project that displayed his truly extensive knowledge of film and program history. He was also responsible for the stock footage in features such as Speed, Predator and The Last of the Mohicans. For television, he oversaw the stock footage requirements for the hit series LA Law, The X-Files, Chicago Hope and Picket Fences.

Friends will remember Bortles as a wonderful listener who was always willing to help. He laughed at adversity and reveled in the absurdity of politics. He was also a master at picking the perfect gift and saying the perfect words at the right moment.

In retirement, Bortles moved to Tucson, Arizona, where he reveled in the majesty of the mountains and spectacular sunsets. He often traveled throughout the United States to catch up with relatives and friends and became a world traveler, taking cruises and tours to many foreign destinations. The details of his adventures made friends feel like they were along for the excitement.

As the film Citizen Kane shows, it’s impossible to cover all the experiences of a person’s life. This obituary has touched on just a small portion of who Mark Bortles was. He leaves us all with many great memories and it was a privilege to have met and worked with him.

The Bortles family has requested that any donations in his memory be made to his favorite charities: the Audubon Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Interfaith Alliance.

- Howard Flaer

In Memoriam

Phillip Barberio
Assistant Editor
(July 14, 1945 – May 8, 2006)
13 years as a member

Elizabeth “Liz” Ewart
(February 20, 1960 – September 24, 2005)
2 years as a member

Marvin Landfield
(October 27, 1911 – April 30, 2006)
51 years as a member

Kenneth S. Lettvin
Assistant Editor
(April 25, 1926 – May 31, 2006)
46 years as a member

John T. Payne, Sr.
(October 18, 1908 – April 6, 2006)
70 years as a member

Robert L. Weatherford
Sound Editor
(October 24, 1917 – April 22, 2005)
64 years as a member

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In order for Editors Guild members or retirees who have passed away to be listed in Editors Guild Magazine’s “In Memoriam,” the deceased’s family must notify the Guild of the death. Please call Fred Arteaga at 323-876-4770, ext. 243 with information.

Also, if family members or friends would like to write an obituary for their loved ones in the “Passages” section of the magazine, please contact Tomm Carroll at 323-876-4770, ext. 222 for guidelines and due dates.

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