Bill Varney, CAS, Passes Away at 77

Apr 6, 2011 6:25 PM


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

photo of Bill Varney

Bill Varney, CAS

Retired re-recording sound mixer, Bill Varney, CAS, passed away on April 2 in Fairhope, Ala., of congestive heart failure at the age of 77. A veteran of more than 80 feature films, Varney’s sound work won him two Academy Awards, in 1981 and 1982, for the films Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Varney was also nominated for the films Dune and Back to the Future. His work on Roots secured him an Emmy nomination.

Varney was a past president of the Cinema Audio Society and in 1990 received the Cinema Audio Society’s highest honor, the Career Achievement Award.

Varney worked for 30 years as a re-recording mixer and joined Universal Pictures as vice president of sound operations, where he was responsible for the complete remodeling and upgrading of the studio’s sound facilities. He also spent a 14-year stint at Goldwyn Studios as supervising re-recording mixer.

Varney began his career in radio and television in the early 1950s. His first motion picture was a government-funded project at MIT featuring folk singer Joan Baez, whose father was a professor of physics there. This film caught the eye of some filmmakers, and before long, he moved to the West Coast. Along with Walter Murch, ACE, MPSE, CAS, he used a 58-page memo from Orson Welles to reconstruct the sound for the DVD re-release of the Director’s Edition of Touch of Evil in 1998. Verney’s other film credits include Poltergeist, Gremlins, Grease, My Favorite Year and Ordinary People.

Mr. Varney leaves behind his wife, Suzy, and daughter, Lisa. Cinema Audio Society Past President Edward L. Moskowitz, CAS, had this to say regarding Varney: “I recall as very young production sound mixer meeting Bill and finding him to be gracious and welcoming to me. He was incredibly supportive in establishing and strengthening the camaraderie among all the mixers in the CAS”.

Arrangements are pending and will be held in Alabama.

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95



Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.