Arnold Glassman, an openly gay, award-winning documentary film editor and filmmaker, died February 19 at his home in the Studio City section of Los Angeles after a brief illness. He was 56. Glassman codirected, coproduced, and edited Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography, which won awards as best documentary of 1993 from the New York and Boston Film Critics groups and the National Society of Film Critics. Four years later he won the American Cinema Editors' Eddie Award for best documentary editing for the feature documentary Frank Capra's American Dream.
A native New Yorker, Glassman had an encyclopedic film knowledge that had its origins in his youth as the son of a 42nd Street movie theater candy concessions manager. After graduating from Pratt Institute in New York City and New York University Film School, he put his expertise to use by specializing in documentaries about filmmaking and Hollywood history. Among his many editing credits were the award-winning The Celluloid Closet; The Good, the Bad & the Beautiful; Dying to Tell the Story; Warner Bros. 75th Anniversary: No Guts, No Glory; Dial H for Hitchcock; On Cukor and last year's Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer. His last show, the Married With Children Reunion special, aired February 16 on Fox.
For Visions of Light, Glassman teamed as director with Todd McCarthy and Stuart Samuels, and he and McCarthy collaborated again to codirect Forever Hollywood, a look at the movies' hometown; it has been playing continuously at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles since 1999. Glassman was associate editor on the Coen brothers' Raising Arizona and last year edited his first narrative feature, Bill Paxton's Frailty.
Glassman is survived by his longtime partner, playwright, TV, and film writer Mark Saltzman; his brother; and three nephews.