Rob Young, a Canadian sound mixer whose 40-year career in the industry included an Oscar nomination for his work on the Clint Eastwood best picture winner Unforgiven, has died. He was 76.
Young died June 11 in Albi, France, of complications from a fall in Morocco while on a food tour, his wife, Yvonne Young, announced.
Young also was nominated for BAFTA awards for Unforgiven (1992) and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet (1996), for a Cinema Audio Society prize for Joe Johnston’s Jumanji (1995), for a Genie Award for Phillip Borsos’ The Grey Fox (1983) and for a Golden Reel Award for Bryan Singer’s X2 (2003).
The New Brunswick native mixed Roxanne (1987) and The Russia House (1990) for director Fred Schepisi, the first two First Blood films in 1982 and ’85 for Ted Kotcheff and George P. Cosmatos, respectively, and the first two Night at the Museum movies for Shawn Levy in 2006 and ’09 (not to mention The Pink Panther in ’06, too).
Young’s impressive résumé also included Jonathan Kaplan’s The Accused (1988), Edward Zwick’s Leaving Normal (1992), Michael Caton-Jones’ This Boy’s Life (1993), Bruce Beresford’s Double Jeopardy (1999), John Frankenheimer’s Reindeer Games (2000), Brian De Palma’s Mission to Mars (2000), Sean Penn’s The Pledge (2001), Andy Fickman’s She’s the Man (2006), Antoine Fuqua’s Shooter (2007) and Chris Columbus’ Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010), his final credit.
He worked mostly out of Vancouver and was the subject of a one-act play called The Sound Man that debuted in New York in 1999.
After retiring to a village in the south of France, Young spent his time reading, listening to music, writing a novel and screenplay, cooking, hiking, fishing and traveling to exotic places, his wife noted.
The oldest of three kids, Young was raised in Sussex, New Brunswick. After graduating from technical school in St. John, New Brunswick, and working for CN Railways, he enrolled at Ryerson University in Toronto to study Radio & Television Arts.
While attending Ryerson, he worked part-time at Spence-Thomas Productions and traveled extensively for the CTV investigative news show W5 before moving to Vancouver.
Starting in documentaries in the early ’70s, Young moved into feature and TV sound and worked as a boom operator on U.S. features. Two of his early films were Robert Altman’s Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson (1976) and Michael Crichton’s Runaway (1984).
Young also did several telefilms in Canada with director George Schaefer.
In addition to his wife — they met at Ryerson and were married two days shy of 53 years — survivors include his children, Brendan, Michael and Gillian; sister Kathy; daughters-in-law Jane and Mackenzie; son-in-law Derek; and grandsons Isaac, Sebastian and Wilder.
A celebration of his life will take place at 5:30 p.m. on July 23 at the Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver. To honor him, his family asks that you perform a random act of kindness.
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