15 Facts About Thelma Schoonmaker


Thelma Schoonmaker is an American film editor, known for her over fifty years of work with director Martin Scorsese.

FactSnippet No. 612,437

Thelma Schoonmaker's started working with Scorsese on his debut feature film Who's That Knocking at My Door, and has edited all of Scorsese's films since Raging Bull (1980).

FactSnippet No. 612,438

Thelma Schoonmaker has received eight Academy Award nominations for Best Film Editing, and has won three times—for Raging Bull, The Aviator, and The Departed (2006), which were all Scorsese-directed films.

FactSnippet No. 612,439

In 1941, the family moved to the Dutch-Caribbean island of Aruba, where Thelma Schoonmaker's father continued to work for Standard Oil and her mother ran nursery schools.

FactSnippet No. 612,440

Thelma Schoonmaker was primarily raised in Aruba, in a community she described as "a colony of expatriates from over the world"; she spent part of her childhood in Portugal.

FactSnippet No. 612,441

Thelma Schoonmaker did not live in the United States until she was an adolescent in 1955, and was initially alienated and dumbfounded by American culture.

FactSnippet No. 612,442

Thelma Schoonmaker was interested in a career in international diplomacy and began attending Cornell University in 1957, where she studied political science and the Russian language.

FactSnippet No. 612,443

Politically inclined and opinionated, Thelma Schoonmaker was opposed to the Vietnam War and supported the Civil Rights Movement.

FactSnippet No. 612,444

Thelma Schoonmaker's passed the State Department exams but failed the final "stress test" when she expressed distaste for the South African policy of apartheid, a stance which did not sit well with those administering the tests.

FactSnippet No. 612,445

Thelma Schoonmaker edited Scorsese's first feature film, Who's That Knocking at My Door.

FactSnippet No. 612,446

At NYU, Thelma Schoonmaker met filmmaker Michael Wadleigh and later edited his influential music festival documentary, Woodstock, on which Scorsese worked.

FactSnippet No. 612,447

Thelma Schoonmaker remarked, "And I just couldn't see why I, who had been a full editor and had been nominated for an Academy Award, should suddenly have to become an apprentice.

FactSnippet No. 612,448

Consequently, Thelma Schoonmaker did not work with Scorsese in a formal capacity in the 1970s; however, she did make an uncredited contribution to Taxi Driver.

FactSnippet No. 612,449

Thelma Schoonmaker's was introduced to Michael Powell by Scorsese and London-based film producer Frixos Constantine.

FactSnippet No. 612,450

Since Powell's death, Thelma Schoonmaker has dedicated herself to preserving the films and honoring the legacy of her husband, who directed many classic films, including The Red Shoes.

FactSnippet No. 612,451